Focus on healthcare value charts Giant Eagle flight path

Regional operator Giant Eagle always has pushed the envelope with new store concepts, as evidenced by its high-end Market District grocery brand and Giant Eagle Express, a convenience store/gas station replete with a wide offering of food items and a full-service, drive-through pharmacy.

That entrepreneurial tendency is replicated in the $8.2 billion grocer’s pharmacy department under the direction of VP pharmacy Randy Heiser. In fall 2009, Giant Eagle put into motion the first of its HBW (health/beauty/wellness) pilot tests — a new wellness format that helps bridge pharmacy and a more natural, wellness-oriented front end.

Led by corporate nutritionist Judy Dodd, Giant Eagle fields a staff of registered dietitians to help answer any food and nutrition questions that one of its 3.8 million Giant Eagle Advantage cardholders may have. “We look to [help those in our communities] by expanding upon the high-quality service found in our pharmacies, and by continuing to develop initiatives, such as our health and beauty care business, in-store retail health clinics and our group of skilled dietitians,” said Daniel Donovan, Giant Eagle spokesman.

Giant Eagle also is focused on delivering healthcare value to its customers with such offerings as the $4 generic prescription program and the free antibiotic initiatives. In summer 2010, Giant Eagle also began offering five commonly prescribed medications for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes — glimepiride, glipizide, glyburide, metformin and chlorpropamid — at no cost to patients.

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