Safeway Joins Rivals In Adding $4 Generic Prescription Drugs

By Ylan Q. Mui
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Safeway will begin offering $4 prescriptions on hundreds of generic drugs today at stores in the eastern United States, a spokesman said, following in the footsteps of the program popularized by Wal-Mart two years ago.

The list of $4 drugs includes the antibiotic amoxicillin, blood pressure medication atenolol and levothyroxine for thyroid disease.

They are available at stores in the District, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and New Jersey. In the Washington region, about 83 of Safeway's 110 stores have pharmacies.

Safeway spokesman Greg TenEyck said the Pleasanton, Calif., grocery chain began testing the program in Houston and Dallas in March before rolling it out on the East Coast.

Store pharmacies in the Chicago area are also to begin carrying discounted prescriptions today.

"It's a little bit of good news for the consumer," TenEyck said. "With fuel prices going up and food prices going up, here's something that's going in the opposite direction."

Safeway's move comes after Wal-Mart rattled the retail industry when it launched its $4 prescriptions in 2006.

Target quickly matched Wal-Mart's prices, but TenEyck said Safeway is the first grocer in the area to do so.

"We've been reacting to the competitive marketplace," he said.

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