The program offers a 30-day supply of 400 generic drugs as a cost of $4 per prescription. The medicines on the list include antibiotics and drugs that treat ailments such as allergies, asthma, arthritis, diabetes, cholesterol and digestive issues.
There are no forms to fill out or special cards to carry and the program is available to all customers regardless of insurance and co-pays. Lists of the generic medicines included in the program will be available at every pharmacy counter and online at www.hy-vee.com.
"We embark on this program in the spirit of exceptional value and helpful service. Those are our trademarks," said Hy-Vee CEO Ric Jurgens. "But we also do it out of a deep commitment to helping customers live easier, healthier, happier lives."
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. The program is expected to be well-received by employer groups as well.
Helping customers and benefit groups save money was but one incentive for the program. Just as important as the cost-savings of generic prescriptions are the education and patient counseling provided by Hy-Vee pharmacists when it comes to medication management and related wellness issues.
"The landscape of medicine in regard to drug therapy is changing," said Bob Egeland, assistant vice president of pharmacy. "Pharmacists are exceptionally trained to help customers understand generic drugs. But at Hy-Vee, it's not just about filling a prescription. We have an entire team of friendly, approachable health care professionals with the knowledge and expertise to assist customers in all of their health care needs."
For example, 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 customer understand what lifestyle changes can be made that may reduce the need for the medication.
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 100 locations help customers address all their 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.
In 2007 the company sponsored the inaugural Hy-Vee Triathlon to get people excited about having fun while developing a fitness routine.