QUINCY, Mass. — Ahold USA chains Stop & Shop Supermarket Co. here and Giant Food, Landover, Md., this month became the latest supermarkets to launch discounted generic prescription programs.
Following Wal-Mart, Kroger, Safeway and many others, the two chains are offering 90-day supplies of over 350 drugs for $9.99. The offer is being promoted in circulars and on websites.
Unlike most other retailers with this type of discount generic program, the Ahold stores are not offering a 30-day supply for $4.
Industry observers noted that while this approach is closer to the $10 average cost of dispensing, sources said it cuts down on the repeat traffic these programs were initially designed to increase.
“The reason we're offering the 90-day, $9.99 generics is because we understand that Americans are finding that prices are rising on many items, including medicine,” said Stop & Shop spokesman Rob Keane.
The $9.99 price point on 90-day generics is an “apparent contradiction,” said Bruce Kneeland, a pharmacy industry consultant with PharmacyConnections, Royersford, Pa.
“On one hand the primary purpose of the low-cost plan is to bring people into the store more frequently so that they can take advantage of other items, but a 90-day program seems to take much of the muscle out of that approach,” Kneeland said.