Grocery chain latest to offer free generic antibiotics

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Jan. 12, 2009

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East Coast-based Giant Food Supermarkets is offering to fill prescriptions for generic antibiotics for free.

The initiative started Jan. 2 and continues through March 21. It includes up to a 14-day supply of the most commonly prescribed generic antibiotics, such as penicillin, amoxicillin and ciprofloxacin.

This is the first time Giant has offered free antibiotics. The chain has groceries and pharmacies in Delaware, Maryland, Virginia and Washington.

Wal-Mart sparked low-cost pricing on generics in 2006, when it began offering 300 generic prescription drugs for $4. Other chains have matched that total.

Giant is not the first chain to offer free prescriptions, however.

Meijer Inc., with stores in the Midwest, has offered free generic antibiotics since 2006, and in June 2008 began offering free generic prenatal vitamins. Publix Super Markets in Florida offered free generic antibiotics beginning in 2007.

The Infectious Diseases Society of America and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the past have sent letters to retailers requesting they launch education campaigns on the use of antibiotics and antibacterial resistance. That way, the organizations said, patients might not pressure physicians for antibiotics when they don't need them.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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