Giant Food Offers Generic No Cost Antibiotics

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Giant Food stores and stores of its sister chain Stop & Shop will provide no-cost generic antibiotics to customers with prescriptions for three months beginning Jan. 2, the Washington Post reports.

Numerous popular antibiotics, such as amoxicillin, penicillin and ciprofloxacin, will be included. Medications that treat common viral illnesses, such as the flu and the common cold, will not be included. According to the Post, such medications often are not available in generic form and are more costly.

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Giant officials did not estimate the cost or potential utilization of the program. The Post reports that the pharmacy market has become "increasingly competitive" since Wal-Mart in 2006 began offering about 300 generic prescription medications for $4. In response, Giant Food lowered its price for a 90-day supply of generic medications to $9.99 this past summer. According to consulting firm Willard Bishop, pharmacy sales make up about 10% of revenue at grocery stores. Retail experts say the strategy is a new and aggressive approach to entice shoppers amid the economic recession, the Post reports.

Robin Michel, executive vice president for Giant Food, said, "If this is the way that we can help most people, why not?" Ron Paul, president of food consulting firm Technomic, said the program likely will foster good will among Giant Food shoppers. "Anything you can do to suggest that [businesses] do care about more than just ... making money is probably good citizenship," he said (Mui, Washington Post, 12/31/08).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, search the archives, and sign up for email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email . The Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. © 2007 Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.

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