GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., April 12 With diabetes affecting the lives of millions of people throughout the Midwest, Meijer announced plans today to begin offering Metformin Immediate Release, the most commonly prescribed treatment for type 2 diabetes, at no cost to those with a medical prescription. Meijer's program will include doses prescribed in 500mg, 850mg and 1000mg tablets.
According to American Diabetes Association estimates for 2007, more than 24 million Americans have diabetes, with type 2 diabetes accounting for 90-95 percent of all cases.
"Meijer is pleased to add Metformin Immediate Release to our free medication program," said Effie Steele, clinical services coordinator for the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer. "As our population ages, type 2 diabetes cases continue to grow. Adding Metformin Immediate Release to Meijer's free medication program, while providing other ways to manage diabetes through the various healthy living solutions offered in our stores, reinforces our commitment to promote healthy lifestyles for all of our customers."
The free diabetes prescription program joins other Meijer healthy living initiatives designed to provide no-cost medicine to shoppers. Three years ago, Meijer's pharmacy began offering the seven most popular children's antibiotics for free (http://www.meijer.com/content/content_leftnav_manual.jsp?pageName=pr_freeprescriptions). It followed up that health management program one year later with the news that it would provide free pre-natal vitamins for women with a prescription (http://img.meijer.com/assets/cms/pdfs/news/20080529_meijerPre-natalNewsRelease.pdf).
To date, Meijer has filled more than five million free antibiotic prescriptions, and more than 500,000 prescriptions for free pre-natal vitamins. Combined, Meijer has provided a total cost savings to consumers of more than $90 million.
"So much of what we do is designed to promote a healthier lifestyle for our shoppers - whether it's helping them to live better or to feel better," said Hank Meijer, Co-Chairman and C.E.O. of Meijer. "Our Healthy Living and Wellness programs include everything from diabetes screenings and in-store food demos to prescription drug programs, immunizations and meal planning. We were pleased when we saw Publix, a company we admire, make this move. We quickly looked at it and decided to do the same here in our five-state region. This is one more way Meijer can help our customers build healthier lifestyles while saving them money."
Diabetes is a disease that has no cure. Currently, more than 80 million American children and adults have some form of diabetes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that one in three children born today will develop diabetes in their lifetime. The numbers are even worse for minorities.
Metformin Immediate Release is now believed to be the most widely prescribed anti-diabetic drug in the world. In 2008, more than 80 million prescriptions for Metformin were filled in the United States alone. Meijer's addition of Metformin Immediate Release to its free medication program comes just weeks after Florida-based grocer Publix led the industry by announcing it would provide free Metformin prescriptions in its pharmacy.
Meijer is a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer that operates 191 stores throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky. As the inventor of the "one-stop shopping" concept, Meijer stores have evolved through the years to include expanded fresh produce and meat departments, as well as pharmacies, comprehensive electronics departments, garden centers and apparel offerings. Additional information on Meijer and the ability to shop for more can be found at www.meijer.com.