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Got a prescription? You can get it free

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FRANK J. SCHULTZ
October 31, 2007
— Stores have long lured customers with “loss leaders”—products with prices so low that the store actually loses money on them.

The stores still hope to make a profit, however, because they know lots of shoppers will buy other stuff on their trip to the store.


Wal-Mart started a widely publicized loss-leader program last year with a new twist: $4 for more than 350 different prescription drugs.


Target and Kmart responded with their own $4 plans. And now the Logli/Schnucks grocery/ pharmacy has decided to do its competition one better: free drugs.


Yup, free. They won’t charge you or your insurance carrier a dime.


The list of free drugs is limited, however. It’s only for oral pills or liquids for the generic antibiotics amoxicillin, ampicillin, ciprofloxacin, doxycycline, erythromycin, penicillin, and trimeth/sulfa.


Schnucks pharmacy people say they may change the list “from time to time,” but they hope to expand the list later.


You don’t have to be a regular customer. All you need is a prescription.


The offer is good at all Schnucks pharmacies in Illinois, Missouri, Indiana, Wisconsin, Iowa, Tennessee and Mississippi, including the store at 1501 Creston Park Drive in Janesville. Other nearby stores are over the Illinois border in Rockton, Loves Park and Rockford.


Schnucks admits it wants to get more customers through the door. It says it also reduced prices on 10,000 items in its grocery stores earlier this year in another bid to compete with the Wal-Mart.


But Schnucks also is saying it hopes to support the communities it serves by easing the financial burden on customers and health-care systems as well as promoting good health.


Schnucks says people concerned about costs may not fill their prescriptions, or they may not take the entire amount of the drug prescribed. Schnucks says it hopes that free drugs will address this problem.


The drugs are free no matter what your insurance, or even if you have no insurance at all, Schnucks says.


The offer extends for prescriptions for supplies for up to 21 days as well as prescribed refills.


How long will the offer continue? Schnucks will only say “for an indefinite period.”



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