Contact: Lori Willis

Director of Communications


February 16, 2004

Schnucks Offers Medicare Patients Assistance With Diabetes Testing and Supplies

ST. LOUIS - Schnucks Pharmacies are now offering Medicare patients free diabetes meters and bloods glucose testing strips. Once a $100 annual deductible is met, the equipment and services will be provided at no charge. Customers should visit their local Schnucks Pharmacy for additional information.

Schnucks Director of Pharmacy Curtis Hartin, R. Ph., said, "Thanks to provision in the Medicare Program, Schnucks has been able to take advantage of special manufacturer discounts that make the bulk purchase of diabetes testing equipment and supplies more manageable. Schnucks makes the initial investment and then we apply for reimbursement from Medicare." He explained, "This way Schnucks, and not the customer, shoulders the burden for out-of-pocket expenses."

The American Diabetes Association reports that more than 18.2 million Americans (6.3 percent of the population) suffer from some form of diabetes, disease caused by the body's inability to produce or effectively use insulin. Diabetes can be associated with serious complications and even premature death, but people with diabetes can take steps to control the disease and lower the risk of complications. Hartin says regular testing is an important part of treatment.

The testing meter normally retails between $55 and $85 dollars and the strips are anywhere from $30 to $60 for a box of 100. Hartin says the new Schnucks program will provide customers with easier access to equipment and relief from the financial burden and paperwork typically required. He explained, "Schnucks Pharmacies will also accept additional Medicare discount cards due to be made available in June. Our goal is to help seniors take better care of themselves."

If you would like to take advantage of this offer, you need only stop in at your neighborhood Schnucks pharmacy and present your Medicare Part B card. "Our pharmacists will be able to answer all your questions and help you fill out two simple forms. We will take over from there," said Hartin.

Statistics show that 5.2 million of the 18.2 million people suffering from diabetes don't know it. The symptoms of diabetes include frequent urination, excessive thirst, extreme hunger, unusual weight loss, increased fatigue, irritability and blurry vision. Since early detection is key, individuals are encouraged to check with their doctor if they feel they could be at risk.

According to Hartin, the new Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003 passed last December helped to pave the way for expanded Medicare services for seniors. The changes have enabled Schnucks to take a more custodial approach to customer health care. Included in the Act is a provision to provide discounted prescription prices to Medicare patients beginning in June 2004. Schnucks will participate in many of the prescription plans to be offered to the seniors.

All Medicare terms and rules still apply.

Founded in St. Louis in 1939, Schnuck Markets, Inc currently operates 100 stores (including five Logli stores) and 93 pharmacies in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Tennessee and Mississippi. The family-owned company is ranked 80th in the Forbes Magazine listing of the nation's "Largest Private Companies."

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