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Rite Aid adds RX Savings Card discount program chain-wide

BY DSN STAFF

CAMP HILL, Pa. Beginning Sept. 29, Rite Aid will makes its RX Savings Card available across the chain, enabling consumers to save on more than 10,000 prescription drugs and more than 3,200 Rite Aid brand products.

“The Rite Aid RX Savings Card has been so successful in Michigan, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and California that we have expanded the program nationwide,” stated Bill Wolfe, Rite Aid group vice president, pharmacy. “Residents in those states really embraced the card and in only a few months have saved over $5 million on their prescriptions, over-the-counter medicines and Rite Aid brand items.”

Benefits of the free card include:

• Access to more than 400 generic medications at $8.99 for a 30-day supply and $15.99 for a 90-day supply for each prescription;

• a 20 percent discount on all other generic medications and brand drug prescriptions;

• a 30-day supply of select generic oral contraceptives for $19.99; and

• a 10 percent savings on more than 3,200 Rite Aid brand products, which include more than 1,500 over-the-counter medications.

The Rite Aid RX Savings Card will especially benefit those who have no or limited prescription insurance. Others who will find particular benefit from the card are those whose prescription plan does not cover certain drugs or who have reached their benefit limits, the company stated.

“Many Americans are without health insurance, even though they may be steadily employed. Combine that with record-high gas prices, increasing food prices and the increasing cost of living in general, and there is a serious need for a card like this to help people take care of themselves and their families,” Wolfe said. “That’s why our list of 30 and 90 day generics at $8.99 and $15.99 cuts across most therapeutic categories and includes some of the most widely used generic drugs such as amlodipine/simvastatin to treat cardiovascular conditions, loratadine for allergies, ranitadine for gastrointestinal conditions, and sertraline which is an antidepressant.”

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Panasonic releases new battery model

BY Jenna Duncan

SEACAUCUS, N.J. Panasonic has introduced its newest battery—the EVOLTA model—which has already been listed in Guinness World Records for being the “longest lasting AA alkaline battery cell” used in electronic devices.

The new EVOLTA battery has more internal space than previous versions of Panasonic batteries. It also features improved sealing technology and is produced with new materials such as manganese dioxide and zinc which make it more durable and better-performing, the company said.

To prove the better performance of the new EVOLTA batteries, the company product tested them in devices such as digital cameras, FM radios and other small electronics and found the running life and usage rates to be longer and higher than older Panasonic battery models, Panasonic reported.

Panasonic has also announced the start of its EVOLTA Sweepstakes which runs through March 31, 2009. Prizes include Panasonic products such as a 42-inch Panasonic VIERA plasma HDTV, smaller Panasonic VIERA plasma HDTVs, Blu-ray disc players and 15 LUMIX digital still cameras. Customers can find more information online at www.panasonic.com/evolta.

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Retailing forecasts predict growth, but at a trickle

BY Michael Johnsen

WASHINGTON, D.C. The National Retail Federation on Tuesday released its forecast for the upcoming 2008 holiday season, projecting that sales will rise 2.2 percent this year to $470.4 billion.

This gain falls well below the 10-year average of 4.4 percent holiday sales growth and would represent the slowest growth since 2002, when holiday sales rose 1.3 percent, the association stated.

“Current financial pressures and a lack of confidence in the economy will force shoppers to be very conservative with their holiday spending,” stated NRF chief economist Rosalind Wells. “We expect consumers to be frugal this season and less willing to splurge on discretionary items.”

A number of economic indicators point to a challenging holiday for retailers. A struggling housing market and rising unemployment accompanied by meager income gains will continue to hamper the consumer throughout the season.

Food and energy costs will remain high. With the current financial industry crisis continuing to chip away at consumer confidence, NRF does not foresee an economic turnaround until the second half of next year.

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