PITTSBURGH — Giant Eagle expanded its $4 generic prescription program this month to include over 400 medications in 20 therapeutic categories.
Originally launched in late 2006 with just over 300 drugs, the program covers 30-day supplies.
In addition, the retailer reduced prices on hundreds of over-the-counter health and beauty items.
“Approximately 20% of all prescriptions dispensed at Giant Eagle are currently generic drugs included in the program,” Giant Eagle spokesman Dan Donovan told SN.
In its Pennsylvania market the retailer added 113 new drugs, bringing the total to 421. Twelve of the medications included in the Pennsylvania plan cost more than $4 but are still being sold at a discount. In Ohio, Maryland and West Virginia, 98 new drugs were added, bringing the total there to 427 drugs, with one over the $4 price.
“The program's expansion, coupled with a major price reduction on hundreds of drug store items in our health and beauty care aisles, ensures that we continue to deliver the best overall value to our customers,” Vice President of Pharmacy Randy Heiser, who called the expansion “the largest of its kind by a major retailer,” said in a statement.
Wal-Mart's $4 generic program, started in September 2006, includes 361 products.
The $4 generic program is an extension of the company's ongoing focus to take costs out of its internal operations and invest those savings into lower everyday prices for customers, the company said in a statement. According to Donovan, efforts to fund the expansion of the generics program include better-negotiated costs and buying processes, as well as a broadening of the supplier pool for pharmaceuticals.
The retailer lowered prices on hundreds of grocery items geared at helping customers develop quick and easy meals less than two months ago, Donovan said. This month's OTC health and beauty item price reductions extend that effort and affect more than 275 products, including many in the shaving, feminine hygiene and incontinence categories. For example, the Gillette Fusion razor was reduced from $9.99 to $8.99, the BIC single-edge Lady Shaver went from $2.59 to $2.29 and Depends Adult Underwear went from $11.43 to $10.98 for a 16-count box.
The products' prices are being reduced by about 8%, Donovan said, “resulting in approximately $2 million in annualized customer savings, building on the approximate $4 million in annualized savings expected to be delivered by the generics program.”
Giant Eagle has invested about $150 million in customer savings on both grocery and prescription drugs since 2004, he added.
The supermarket is supporting its price reductions with a full marketing campaign including television, radio, newspaper, outdoor, online and in-store advertising. The pricing campaign is consistent with the retailer's promotional theme, “Price Cut: When You See Green You Save Green!”
New therapeutic categories under Giant Eagle's generic drug plan include allergy, asthma, arthritis, cholesterol, heart health, eye and ear, thyroid and family planning.
“The generic medications included here are popular drugs that will help our customers, particularly senior citizens and those with families, live a healthy lifestyle,” Heiser said. “The Giant Eagle generic drug program allows us to help our customers fight the rising costs associated with health care.”