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    Giant Eagle Expands $4 Generic Drug Program In Pa.

    PITTSBURGH -- Giant Eagle Inc. here has expanded its $4 generic prescription program in its 93 Pennsylvania in-store pharmacies covering between 125 and 150 of the most popular pharmaceuticals, and 314 total prescriptions.

    PITTSBURGH -- Giant Eagle Inc. here has expanded its $4 generic prescription program in its 93 Pennsylvania in-store pharmacies covering between 125 and 150 of the most popular pharmaceuticals, and 314 total prescriptions.

    The announcement is the latest in a series of similar programs launched by retailers around the country, including Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. -- which spearheaded the low-cost drug movement in late September and announced this morning that it is expanding its generic discount program to the 11 states where it has not yet been available -- and Target, which last week expanded its low-price program to all of its company's pharmacies nationwide.

    In a statement, Giant Eagle said its generic prescription programs are an extension of the company's continued focus on taking costs out of its internal operations and investing the savings in lower everyday prices for its customers. Efforts to fund this most recent price reduction action include better-negotiated costs and buying processes, as well as a broadening of the supplier pool for pharmaceuticals.

    In all, Giant Eagle said it has generated more than $120 million in annualized customer savings since November 2004 by reducing prices on various popular grocery items, including thousands of dairy, frozen, canned, snack, pet, and health and beauty care products. Its pharmacy initiative is the first pricing action taken in Pennsylvania outside of Giant Eagle's core grocery business

    In other Giant Eagle news, Pittsburgh's market leader said it plans to pilot Manhattan Associates' Trading Partner Management (TPM) system at two warehouses with five suppliers in February, before rolling it out to all of the chain's seven warehouses by next summer, according to published reports.

    The TPM system will enable suppliers to access a retailer's purchase order, lot number, and expiration date requirements via a Web portal, which will in turn be integrated into bar-coded "license plates" that are printed and applied to cases or pallets.

    The chain said automating transmission of lot numbers and associated data will help it better facilitate trace-backs, as well as country-of-origin labeling (COOL) and bioterrorism tracking.

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