How much are generic antibiotics costing you?

By Christine Adolf
March 5, 2009

Shannon Keough

Food stores, specifically Giant and its sister chain Stop & Shop, are supplying people who have prescriptions with free generic brand antibiotics.

The free antibiotics giveaway lasts through the month of March and include antibiotics such as amoxicillin, penicillin and ciprofloxacin.

The medications can be used to treat bacterial illnesses such as ear and sinus infections but cannot help sicknesses such as the common flu or cold.

With the economy in such turmoil, free anything sounds good to customers.

Many people knew about Wal-Mart’s price decrease, but no one estimated how popular that would become let alone how popular free antibiotics at food stores would become.

Before there were free antibiotics, there was Wal-Mart who was offering almost 300 generic prescription drugs for just $4.

From that branch out, most competitors were forced to lower their cost of generic drugs. And then there was Giant, who finally offered them for free.

I know as a consumer, when I hear the word free, I think is it actually free or what is the catch. There is no catch. Just get in line at the pharmacy, give the pharmacist your prescription and come back in 10 minutes to get your prescription all for free.

I went to the grocery store to see if this was real, because at first I didn’t believe it.

I asked the pharmacists if what I had researched was correct and she said “yes” and as I was about to leave as an elderly gentleman came up with his prescription for amoxicillin. I explained to him what I was doing research wise and I asked him if he minded if I watched his experience with free antibiotics.

He didn’t mind so I proceeded to watch. The pharmacists took back his script with what type of medication was needed, she filled it, rang it up and all the man had to do was sign in the box that he had received his medication.

There was absolutely no exchange of money. The man turned to me and told me that with the money he had saved, he was going to buy a candy bar.

I couldn’t help but laugh.

In an article from the Washington Post, it stated that many Americans are finding it difficult to afford to fill their prescriptions.

Some Americans have just stopped filling their prescriptions all together. What about those Americans who need those pills to live?

People need medicine to live day to day.

But then the question is raised what if you don’t live near a Stop & Shop, Giant or Wegmans?

For those Americans who live near these food chains are lucky they have such a fortunate option for them instead of spending those extra bucks on antibiotics.

But for those Americans who don’t live near any of those food chains, what other option do they have? They are the Americans helping the economy by purchasing their antibiotics at full cost.

Saving money is what Americans are looking for during this economic crisis.

You say free and we all come running. You can count on it.

Even though this may seem as an aggressive move to some retailers and experts, it then makes you think who is next: Target, ACME or ShopRite?

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Christine Adolf

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