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    Giant Eagle, McKesson Create Automated Refill Center to Better Handle Prescription Refills

    SAN FRANCISCO - Giant Eagle Inc. and McKesson Corporation have expanded their relationship beyond pharmaceutical distribution to create an automated refill center for customers at select Giant Eagle stores.

    SAN FRANCISCO - Giant Eagle Inc. and McKesson Corporation have expanded their relationship beyond pharmaceutical distribution to create an automated refill center for customers at select Giant Eagle stores. With the new agreement, Giant Eagle hopes to better manage its rapidly expanding prescription refill volume.

    Giant Eagle signed a three-year renewal agreement with McKesson, in which McKesson will be the sole distributor of pharmaceutical products to the 166 Giant Eagle stores with pharmacies in Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia and Maryland. Through a first-of-its-kind venture, McKesson will provide assistance in managing prescription refills for select Giant Eagle stores in Pennsylvania and Ohio through an Automated Refill Center.

    When Giant Eagle customers in Pennsylvania and Ohio request a prescription refill for pick up on the following day, it is sent to the Giant Eagle Automated Refill Center at the McKesson Pharmaceutical distribution center in New Castle, Pa. The Automated Refill Center is a licensed Giant Eagle pharmacy. Prescriptions are refilled from the distribution center inventory at the Automated Refill Center, and orders are delivered the next day to the Giant Eagle pharmacy from which they originated.

    The Automated Refill Center began as a trial with Giant Eagle in Pennsylvania and has met with overwhelming success, according to the companies. As a result, the service was recently expanded to certain stores located in Ohio.

    "McKesson identified a unique opportunity to help us manage our rapidly expanding prescription refill volume," said Giant Eagle VP of pharmacy Randy Heiser. "The introduction of the Automated Refill Center maximizes our pharmacist resources, while allowing them to spend more time with customers requiring new medications. Additionally, we have been able to drive down the dispensing cost per prescription using this system."

    In a separate announcement, McKesson said it has received a two-year extension of its pharmaceutical distribution agreement with Wal-Mart Stores Inc. McKesson said it will continue as the primary supplier of pharmaceutical products for Wal-Mart stores across the United States as well as its mail order facility and warehouses.

    San Francisco-based McKesson Corporation provides supply, information and care management products and services designed to reduce costs and improve quality across healthcare.

    Giant Eagle Inc., ranked 22 on Forbes magazine's largest private corporations list, was recently named Progressive Grocer's Retailer of the Year. The Pittsburgh-based company is one of the nation's largest food retailers and food distributors with over $4.4 billion in annual sales.

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