Chain adds mobile pharmacy app
For the past 35 years, Giant Eagle has not wavered from its commitment to provide its customers with the utmost in convenient pharmacy care.
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At the same time, however, the way the 223-store grocery chain attains that goal has changed to keep pace with the evolving nature of community pharmacy.
“Since opening the first pharmacy in Pittsburgh in 1980, Giant Eagle’s guiding philosophy has evolved from improving customers’ everyday access to health information and prescriptions to providing caring services that drive adherence and improve quality of life,” spokesman Dan Donovan said.
Like many of its competitors, the company has used low-cost and free prescription programs to attract customers. Patients can receive 30-day supplies of certain generic drugs for $4 and 90-day supplies of those same drugs for $10. In addition, Giant Eagle offers free prescriptions for generic antibiotics and two blood-pressure medications.
Recognizing what Donovan calls “a strong need for continuity of care among chronically ill patients,” Giant Eagle added specialty pharmacy services in 2011. In 2013, the company added to that with the acquisition of Rx21 Specialty Pharmacy.
The emphasis on convenience is crucial to the company’s pharmacies remaining a viable option for shoppers who have myriad choices of where to fill their prescriptions, he noted.
In an effort to ensure that its pharmacies are among the most convenient for patients in its area, Giant Eagle added a mobile pharmacy app to its offering last year.
The app allows customers to use their smart-phones to refill prescriptions, set refill and medication reminders and receive alerts when prescriptions are available for pickup.
Donovan noted that the app is among the most recent steps in Giant Eagle’s ongoing effort to meet customers’ needs by offering unique, convenience-based services and innovative technological advances.
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Blending pharmacy, nutritional expertise
Now in its 110th year, H-E-B is a pioneer in food-store pharmacy retailing. Beginning with its first in-store prescription center in the 1950s, the chain now offers full pharmacy departments in 245 of its more than 350 stores, according to its SVP pharmacy Craig Norman.
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Those pharmacies offer an expanding menu of immunizations, health screenings and long-term disease management programs. Through its ongoing “Second Saturday” health-and-wellness initiative, H-E-B pharmacies offer free screenings for blood glucose and blood pressure, as well as cholesterol testing for under $4 on the second Saturday of every month. Also available for $29.99: quarterly A1C testing for diabetics to help them manage their conditions long-term, and a complete cholesterol blood test measuring HDL and LDL levels.
Diabetes is a prime focus of its health-and-wellness efforts. Based in a state where more than 10% of adults have the condition, H-E-B offers diabetes monitoring and patient education, as well as its own line of glucose monitors and testing strips under the H-E-B inControl label. Supplementing those efforts: the “My H-E-B Health & Wellness” program, which includes weekly meal plans and shopping lists for healthier eating, shopping tours with dietitians, exercise tips and a shelf-tag program to identify products for special dietary needs.
“Our focus is to continue to develop our outreach to customers, building on being recognized as a destination for health and wellness,” Norman told DSN.
Among the company’s newest innovations: free or low-cost prescription deliveries in many Texas markets. The pharmacy delivery service is now available weekdays in nearly 100 H-E-B stores.
“For two or more prescriptions, this service is completely free, and it’s only $5 if the order is for one prescription,” the company noted. Deliveries normally occur within four hours or less, according to H-E-B’s pharmacy division.