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Giant Eagle Pharmacy to Offer Customers in Pennsylvania a Dose of Economic Relief Through Free Antibiotics Program

PITTSBURGH, Sept. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- At a time when many families affected by a difficult economy are struggling with the costs of prescription medications, supermarket retailer Giant Eagle, Inc. is making ten broadly used generic prescription antibiotics in 46 common dosages available for free every day at all of its 210 in-store pharmacies. The major consumer wellness initiative begins today, Thursday. September 3, with a 2:15 PM kickoff press event at Giant Eagle's Pine Township supermarket located at 155 Towne Centre Drive in Wexford, Pa.

"The Giant Eagle Pharmacy is committed to improving the health and wellness of our communities, especially during the back-to-school season when children and families begin to move indoors and become more susceptible to bacteria-related illness," said Vice President of Pharmacy for Giant Eagle Randy Heiser. "This new free antibiotic program is expected to result in $4.6 million in annual cost savings for our customers, helping children and adults alike obtain these important antibiotics."

The program is an extension of Giant Eagle's ongoing price reduction efforts and builds upon the company's successful $4 generic prescription medication program that delivers an additional $64 million in annual customer savings. The prescription antibiotics available under the program with a valid prescription are:

    1. Amoxicillin          5. Doxycycline Hyclate        9. Tetracycline
    2. Ampicillin           6. Erythromycin               10. Bacitracin
    3. Cephalexin           7. Penicillin
    4. Ciprofloxacin        8. Sulfamethoxazole/Trimethoprim

Common infections that these free antibiotics treat range from strep throat, ear infections and conjunctivitis to bladder infections, pneumonia, acne, urinary tract and skin infections. Some of the antibiotics are also used as a means to prevent infections caused by certain dental procedures.

Joining Giant Eagle in this announcement is Dr. Mark Diamond, a pediatrician with Children's Community Pediatrics (CCP), a subsidiary of Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC and the largest pediatric and adolescent primary care medical network in Western Pennsylvania with 28 locations in eight counties. "We at Children's Community Pediatrics commend Giant Eagle on starting this program," said Dr. Mark Diamond, medical director of the CCP CARES Program and pediatrician at CCP's South Hills Pediatric Associates practice. "While prevention with good hygiene is always the best means to protect against bacteria-related illness, properly prescribed antibiotics such as those included in this program are often necessary for patients with these common infections." Dr. Diamond adds that the best person to determine if antibiotics are an appropriate course of action is your family physician or healthcare provider.

While antibiotics are not effective on viruses like common colds or the flu, Giant Eagle offers a full range of national and TopCare brand products that can help alleviate the symptoms of these conditions in adults. Following on Giant Eagle's commitment to affordable healthcare, high quality TopCare products are priced aggressively and promise the same effectiveness as the national brands.

Heiser concludes, "With so many families experiencing some level of economic hardship, medical professionals worry that prescriptions go unfilled because patients simply can't afford them. As consumers navigate challenging times, we are continuing to support them through our price reduction efforts that have lowered prices on thousands of offerings throughout our store."

Since November 2004, Giant Eagle has delivered approximately $218 million in lowered everyday prices on meat and chicken, grocery items and generic and over the counter medications, with plans to continue these price reductions efforts in the future. The company also provides savings through its popular promotional programs such as fuelperks!, weekly specials and double coupons.

About Giant Eagle

Giant Eagle Inc., ranked 39 on Forbes magazine's largest private corporations list and recipient of Grocery Headquarters' 2007 Retailer of the Year Award and the EPA's ENERGY STAR Retail Partner of the Year Award, is one of the nation's largest food retailers and food distributors with approximately $8 billion in annual sales. Founded in 1931, Giant Eagle, Inc. has grown to be the number one supermarket retailer in the region with 160 corporate and 60 independently owned and operated supermarkets in addition to 153 fuel and convenience stores throughout western Pennsylvania, Ohio, north central West Virginia and Maryland.

About Children's Community Pediatrics

Children's Community Pediatrics has grown to include 103 board-certified pediatricians in 28 medical practices throughout Allegheny, Armstrong, Butler, Erie, Indiana, Washington and Westmoreland counties. With so many locations, families can stay close to home and still receive the high quality pediatric and adolescent primary care that they have come to expect from physicians at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC.

SOURCE Giant Eagle
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