Contact: Lori O. Willis

Director of Communications


September 9, 2003

Schnucks Pharmacies First in Area to Offer Generic Paroxetine

Generic of the Antidepressant Paxil

ST. LOUIS -- Schnuck Markets, Inc. announced today that by Friday, September 12, the antidepressant Paroxetine, manufactured by Apotex, will be available at all Schnucks Pharmacies for 20 percent less than the brand name Paxil. Schnucks Pharmacies will be the first in the area to receive the new prescription drug.

Paxil, manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline, is among the top ten most popular prescription drugs sold. In 2001, national sales surpassed $2 billion. Schnucks Director of Pharmacy Curtis Hartin, R. Ph., says the ever-increasing cost of prescription drugs has more patients turning toward generics. "There is a significant cost difference between Paroxetine and Paxil, yet they are equally matched in quality." Hartin said, " The FDA requires that generic drugs match the strength and equivalence of the brand drugs in order to receive AB standing, the government's highest prescription drug rating."

Hartin explains that generic manufacturers are able to produce medications more efficiently because they don't have the research and development costs that innovator companies have. He said that, unlike a copy of a favorite designer purse or suit, drug formulas can be perfectly matched in quality and design, therefore patent laws allow for generics. "It's our government's way of ensuring that everyone is able to afford the proper medication," Hartin said.

A bottle of 30, 20 mg tablets of Paroxetine will sell for $66 at Schnucks. Hartin added, "Ultimately, your doctor will always be the best judge of what medications are right for you and your family. We, at Schnucks, simply want to make sure the medications are available when you need them."

Schnuck Markets, Inc currently operates 100 stores and 93 pharmacies in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Tennessee and Mississippi. The company is listed 83rd in the Forbes Magazine listing of the nation's "Top 500 Private Companies." The family-owned company was founded in St. Louis in 1939.

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