Meijer reaches free Rx milestone

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Meijer pharmacies have passed the 30 million mark in free prescriptions dispensed.

The supercenter retailer said Wednesday that it reached the milestone late last month. Its free prescription program began in October 2006, and 2015 alone saw 6 million free scripts dispensed.

Meijer Storefront_2015Since its launch, the program has saved customers more than $422 million, according to Nat Love, vice president of pharmacy at Meijer.

“Meijer is a family-owned company committed to meeting the needs of other families. We do this by providing positive solutions to everyday problems, which includes access to necessary medications,” Love said in a statement. “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.”

Initially, the free scripts program covered leading oral generic antibiotics, with a special focus on prescriptions most often filled for children. Over the year, the program expanded to offer 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.

Meijer said the most popular free prescription filled during 2015 was atorvastatin calcium, with 3 million scripts dispensed, saving customers $37.7 million. That was followed by metformin (1.4 million prescriptions and a $10.6 million cost savings to customers), antibiotics (1.3 million prescriptions and a $10 million savings) and prenatal vitamins (540,000 prescriptions and an $11 million savings).

Overall, Meijer operates 223 supercenters and grocery stores — all with pharmacies — in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin.



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