Grocery Chains Offer Free Antibiotics to Customers

Grocery Chains Offer Free Antibiotics to Customers

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free-antibiotics.jpgIf an antibiotic is just what the doctor orders for your infection this winter, you can get a free prescription at either Giant food store or Wegmans pharmacies. Both east coast grocery chains have decided to offer free generic antibiotics to customers, without a limit, during the next three months.

As competition for consumer dollars increases, Wal-Mart, with it’s $4.00 generic prescriptions, will lose some ground, here, in the race for pharmacy customers. Drug sales typically make up about 10 percent of revenue at grocery stores.

“We understand the economic pressures families are facing, including the rising cost of health care, which is something I’m especially concerned about,” says CEO Danny Wegman.  “We hope this program will help families better cope with those expenses.”

This is the first time Giant has offered a totally free program. In the past they have provided generic prescriptions for $3.99. “Times are tough,” said Robin Michel, executive vice president for Giant Food, which is based in Landover, Maryland. “We wanted to provide something to help customers – something they may need more of during the colder months.”

Publix, a Florida-based grocery chain, debuted a no-cost antibiotics plan for its 684 pharmacies in 2007. It filled its one-millionth free antibiotic a year ago.

Wal-Mart’s $4 plan, launched in 2006, is still extremely valuable to consumers because it includes drugs, unlike antibiotics, that are prescribed for many years on end.

Other stores that have lowered drug prices include Schnucks and Martin’s supermarkets.

Wegmans Food Markets, Inc. is a 72-store family-owned supermarket chain with stores in New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia, and Maryland. Giant has 184 supermarkets –164 with pharmacies — in Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and D.C.

COMMENTS

  1. That is a totally separate issue. For many families with young kids, ear infections are common, and properly diagnosed as needing anti-biotic.

    The fact that they are free isn’t going to make doctors prescribe them any more or less.

    But you are correct that they have been over-prescribed in the past. Doctors in more recent years have been reigning in their pens after American Pediatric society issued strong warnings and new directives.

    Cheers!

  2. Thanks for the added info regarding new standards when it comes to perscribing antibiotics, Geri! I’ve been concerned about the lack of info on this issue to the public, so it is comforting to know that it’s being dealt with prpgeessivly at the professional level. 🙂