Publix says it wasn't policy to provide cheap drugs

08/08/07 Mitch E.Perry
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Earlier this week, Publix supermarkets made huge news state wide, and even nationally, when the chain announced it was offering seven generic antibiotics for free to its pharmacy customers.

But what Publix officials didn’t say was that they were simultaneously discontinuing a policy that had allowed customers to obtain other medications for just $4 a prescription.

The Orlando Sentinel reported today that the grocer claimed it had dropped its policy of matching – when a customer requested it – Wal Mart’s nationwide discount price of $4 for more than 60 generic drugs in more than 160 doses and varieties.

But Shannon Patton, a spokesperson for Publix, denies that was ever company policy.

Publix is now offering free antibiotics for customers who bring a valid prescription to the grocery store. Patton says this is what Publix wants to focus on.

Wal-Mart began offering $4 prescriptions last September. The retailer says its customers have collectively saved about $350-million on those drugs within the last year; and nearly 30 percent of the $4 prescriptions are purchased by customers without health insurance.

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