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Meijer’s free Rx success story

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In this era of high-cost health care, here’s something you don’t hear about much: free medications. Well, that notion has been a success story at Meijer.

meijerThe supercenter retailer, which has more than 200 pharmacy locations, said it has served up $500 million in savings for customers and filled almost 40 million scripts via its free prescription program, launched in October 2006.

Company executives say the program provides a basic need for many families and individuals: affordable health care. Meijer’s 230 supercenters and grocery stores are located across Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin.

“We’re proud that we’ve helped millions of families improve their health and well-being without impacting their budgets,” commented president and CEO Rick Keyes. “Providing these solutions for the customers who rely on our pharmacies is part of our commitment to the communities we serve.”

Generic cholesterol-lowering medication has been the most popular free Rx in the program. Meijer said it filled over 3.2 million atorvastatin calcium prescriptions in 2016. The next-most-popular free scripts were metformin (1.4 million), antibiotics (1.3 million) and prenatal vitamins (480,000).

Meijer launched the free prescription program in 2006 by offering common generic oral antibiotics, with a focus on scripts most often filled for children. The program expanded over the years to include free prenatal vitamins in May 2008; metformin, the most commonly prescribed drug for type 2 diabetes, in 2010; and atorvastatin calcium, the generic version of Lipitor, in 2012.

The retailer noted that the program helps its customers better manage their health by enabling them, regardless of insurance or co-payment, to have their prescriptions filled.

“Meijer is a family-owned company committed to meeting the needs of families in the communities we serve,” stated Jason Beauch, vice president of pharmacy merchandising. “We do this by providing positive solutions to everyday problems, which includes access to necessary medications. We are pleased this program is used by so many families across the Midwest.”


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