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Giant Eagle® Expands Free Prescription Program To Include Free Diabetes Medicines in Western Pennsylvania

PITTSBURGH, July 29 /PRNewswire/ -- With diabetes affecting the lives of hundreds of thousands of people throughout Pennsylvania and Ohio, Giant Eagle®, Inc. has announced that it will begin offering five commonly prescribed medications for the treatment of type 2 diabetes at no cost to medical prescription holders.

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The program, which begins July 29, includes the medications Glimepiride, Glipizide, Glyburide, Metformin and Chlorpropamide which were previously available on the supermarket retailer's $4 prescription program.  The free diabetes medication program was piloted in Columbus and Toledo, Ohio in April and to date has provided nearly $190,000 in customer savings on diabetes medications.

Diabetes has become a leading cause of death in the United States, with more than 90 percent of the 24 million Americans diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.  As a result, Giant Eagle has joined the American Diabetes Association's (ADA) movement to Stop Diabetes®, and is offering a multi-faceted program that includes free diabetes screenings and a pharmacy Diabetes Care Specialist in all 211 supermarket pharmacy locations, and 29 free introductory nutrition classes to provide an overview on the major components for a healthy lifestyle including food choices and exercise, led by Giant Eagle's registered dietitians.

"Type 2 diabetes is, unfortunately, an increasingly common disease in the United States and in the communities that we serve," said Giant Eagle Vice President of Pharmacy Operations, Randy Heiser.  "That is why it is important to ensure our customers have access to these commonly prescribed medications, as type 2 diabetes cases continue to grow."

"Adding these five medications to Giant Eagle's free prescription program, while providing other ways to manage diabetes through the various healthy living solutions offered in our stores, reinforces our commitment to promote healthy lifestyles for all of our customers."

The free diabetes prescription program joins other Giant Eagle healthy living initiatives designed to provide no-cost medicine to area residents.  Last September, Giant Eagle's pharmacy began offering the nine most popular antibiotics for free and to date, the program has filled nearly one million free antibiotic prescriptions with a total cost savings to customers of nearly $6 million.

Heiser added, "With the growing incidences of diabetes, this program is one more way Giant Eagle can help our customers build healthier lifestyles while saving them money.  Our healthy living and wellness programs include everything from prescription drug programs, in-store diabetes screenings, and diabetes care specialists, meal planning and food choices."

Diabetes is a disease that has no cure.  With millions of American children and adults diagnosed with some form of diabetes, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that one in three children born today will develop diabetes in their lifetime.  The numbers are even higher for minorities.

"Giant Eagle is joining the American Diabetes Association in the movement to Stop Diabetes by helping to improve the quality of life in our community," said Steven Shivak, executive director of the American Diabetes Association of Western Pennsylvania.  "Diabetes has become an epidemic, among both children and adults, and we often hear from people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes who can't afford their medications."

"Giant Eagle is helping to change the future of diabetes by playing a key role in ensuring patients take their medications as prescribed."

A diabetes program complete with specialized care, screenings and nutrition.

In addition to free diabetes medications, Giant Eagle will offer a multi-faceted program consisting of:

  • Free diabetes screenings in all 211 pharmacy store locations throughout the month of August that will include glucose screenings and A1C tests to check average blood sugar levels.

  • Pharmacy Diabetes Care Specialists, available at every pharmacy location, trained from an American Pharmacists Association program and endorsed by the American Academy of Diabetes Educators.  Trained pharmacists will be available to help answer patients' questions on diabetes and diabetes care.

  • Nutrition classes that will provide an overview of the major components for a healthy lifestyle including food choices and exercise.  Classes will be offered in 29 regional store locations beginning in September.

Information for the in-store diabetes screenings schedule and nutritional classes can be found at Additional classes will be added throughout the year.

"Another factor to consider is that if a customer is transferring prescriptions from another pharmacy, it's best to bring all of the prescriptions so the pharmacy team can be sure to watch for drug interactions and dosing specifics between all medications," said Heiser.

The Giant Eagle Pharmacy also carries a full line of value-priced diabetic supplies including meters, test strips, insulin syringes, pen needles and glucose tablets.  Every Giant Eagle Pharmacy is also staffed with a qualified immunizer, who is able to administer both flu and pneumonia vaccinations.

About Giant Eagle

Giant Eagle, Inc., ranked 40 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 $8.2 billion in annual sales.  Founded in 1931, Giant Eagle, Inc. has grown to be the number one supermarket retailer in the region with 166 corporate and 58 independently owned and operated supermarkets in addition to 157 fuel and convenience stores throughout western Pennsylvania, Ohio, north central West Virginia and Maryland.  

SOURCE Giant Eagle, Inc.
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