Meijer bullish on free Rx plan

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Meijer Inc. pharmacies marked a milestone recently when the retailer’s free prescription program hit 30 million prescriptions dispensed — 6 million alone in 2015 — since October 2006 when the program launched.

The program has saved customers more than $422 million, said vice president of pharmacy Nat Love.

“Meijer is a family-owned company committed to meeting the needs of other families,” Love said. “We do this by providing positive solutions to everyday problems, which includes access to necessary medications. We began our free prescription program with that in mind, and are pleased that so many families across the Midwest continue to find it ­valuable.”

The retailer’s free prescription program helps ensure the health of families and individuals by enabling Meijer customers, regardless of insurance or co-pay, to have their prescriptions filled. The program began by covering leading oral generic antibiotics, with a special focus on the prescription most often filled for children.

The program expanded over the years by offering free prenatal vitamins in May 2008; metformin, the most commonly prescribed drug for type 2 diabetes in 2010; and atorvastatin calcium, the generic substitute for the cholesterol-lowering medication Lipitor in 2012, according to Love.

The most popular free prescription filled at Meijer in 2015 was atorvastatin calcium with 3 million, saving customers $37.7 million. The most popular prescriptions the company filled after the Lipitor substitute were metformin with 1.4 million prescriptions and a $10.6 million cost savings to customers; antibiotics with 1.3 million prescriptions and a $10 million cost savings; and prenatal vitamins with 540,000 prescriptions and an $11 million cost savings.



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