July 28, 2008

Hy-Vee Adds 90-Day Supply to Generic Drug Program

DES MOINES, Iowa, July 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Hy-Vee officials announced today that it will expand its generic drug program to include a 90-day supply of medicine for $10. The program begins immediately at all of the company's supermarket prescription departments and drugstores.

Six months ago, the company began a 30-day supply of 400 generic drugs at a cost of $4 per prescription. The same list, which includes antibiotics and drugs that treat ailments such as allergies, asthma, arthritis, diabetes, cholesterol and digestive issues, will be used for the three-month supply.

The addition of a 90-day component to the program provides more choice to customers and physicians who may have been limited to mail order. "As healthcare costs continue to rise, we want to do everything we can to improve access to medications for our customers," said Bob Egeland, Hy-Vee vice president, pharmacy. "Better access not only ensures medication compliance and better overall health care, it reinforces the platform for our pharmacists to optimize patient use of medication through education and counseling."

The launch of the company's $4 generic program six months ago has been well-received, said Egeland. He estimates that the program will save customers, employer groups, insurance plans, and state and federal programs between $40 million and $50 million in its first year.

Generic drugs help people save money, especially those without insurance or with high drug co-payments and seniors in the "doughnut hole" of their Medicare drug coverage.

Millions of Americans have chronic diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular issues. Moving those patients to a generic prescription if they are not already on one is the first step, said Egeland. Just as important is helping the costumer understand what lifestyle changes can be made that may reduce the need for the medication.

"We pride ourselves on the trust we develop with our customers, a trust that assures everyone who steps up to a Hy-Vee counter will be guided and supported, not only in the proper use of their medicines but also throughout their entire health and wellness journey," said Egeland.

In the last several years, the company has focused on programs and events that promote healthy lifestyles. In addition to adding pharmacies to its stores, the company's HealthMarkets offer an array of private label, natural and organic products. Registered dietitians at more than 125 locations help customers address additional health and wellness needs, and classes and events held in Hy-Vee Club rooms cover a variety of topics such as disease management, diet, exercise and healthy cooking.

There are no forms to fill out or special cards to carry and the program is available to all customers regardless of insurance or co-pays. Lists of the generic medicines included in the program are available at every pharmacy counter and online at http://www.hy-vee.com/. Due to state law in Minnesota, certain drugs are priced higher than $4 for a 30-day supply and $10 for a 90-day supply.

Hy-Vee, Inc. is an employee-owned corporation operating 224 retail stores in seven Midwestern states. For 2007 the company recorded total sales of $5.6 billion, ranking it among the top 30 supermarket chains and the top 50 private companies in the United States.

Hy-Vee, Inc.

CONTACT: Chris Friesleben, Director, Communications of Hy-Vee, Inc.,+1-515-267-2941, Cell, +1-515-250-3929, [email protected]

Web site: http://www.hy-vee.com/