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Tampa Bay-Lakeland
Business Observer Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020 9 months ago

Grocery chain pharmacy fills 100 millionth free prescription

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Lakeland-based Publix launched its low-cost drug program in 2007.

LAKELAND — Publix Super Markets Inc. recently filled its 100 millionth free prescription.

According to a press release, the Lakeland-based grocery chain’s Publix Pharmacy division launched a free medication program in 2007 in response to the rising number of deaths and increases in health care costs that result from people not being able to afford prescription drugs. The program includes 14-day supplies of four oral antibiotics, as well as 90-day supplies of maintenance medications used to treat high blood pressure and diabetes.

Customers, the release states, provide their Publix pharmacist with a prescription for medications covered in the program, and it’s filled for free. There is no limit to the number of free prescriptions customers can receive, and the free medications are provided regardless of insurance coverage.

Publix Pharmacy also provides 90-day supplies of other commonly prescribed medications for $7.50, including treatments for cholesterol, mental health, arthritis and gastrointestinal issues.

“We are proud to provide a service that helps our customers afford their medications,” Publix Vice President of Pharmacy Dain Rusk states in the release. “As the cost of health care continues to rise, this program has become even more important to our customers and our communities. Too often, high prescription costs prevent people from taking medication as prescribed. When medications are free or available at a greatly reduced cost, that barrier is lifted, and our customers can get the care they need.”

Privately held Publix, with more than 200,000 employees and 1,239 stores, reported $36.1 billion in gross annual revenue in 2018.

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