PITTSBURGH, Dec. 9, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Multi-format food, fuel and pharmacy retailer Giant Eagle, Inc. added to its best-in-class Health and Wellness offerings with the acquisition of Rx21 Specialty Pharmacy, enabling the company to provide enhanced services to Hepatitis C and organ transplant patients and providers.
"At Giant Eagle, we're always looking for ways to expand services and convenience for our customers. We are excited to be able to improve our ability to help patients manage Hepatitis C and transplant conditions with enhanced clinical, operational and mail capabilities," says Senior Vice President of Health and Wellness Brett Merrell. "We greatly value the expertise gained with the new acquisition of Rx21, particularly at a time when two significant new Hepatitis C treatments are becoming available."
Hepatitis C is a viral condition that causes inflammation of the liver and can lead to permanent liver damage, liver cancer, liver failure and cirrhosis. According to the CDC, approximately 3.2 million people in the U.S. have Hepatitis C with almost 17,000 Americans infected each year. Additionally, The US Department of Health and Human Services states that more than 19,000 Americans received transplants from January to August of this year.
Early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent some effects such as liver damage, cirrhosis and even liver cancer in those suffering from Hepatitis C. The CDC recommends Hepatitis C testing for those born between 1945 and 1965, which could prevent more than 120,000 deaths.
The Food and Drug Administration recently approved OLYSIO(TM) (simeprevir) for use as treatment by those suffering from Hepatitis C, and is expected to approve a similar new drug, sofosbuvir, soon. These medications could offer a more effective approach to treating and eliminating Hepatitis C. Those interested in learning more about the pending Hepatitis C medications should speak with a physician or visit www.cdc.gov.
"Giant Eagle's commitment to delivering specialty medications with value added services such as patient education, financial counseling and prior authorization assistance for the doctors makes for a perfect partnership with Rx21," said Rx21 Owner David Hollis. "This collaboration will also give Rx21 patients the option to pick up medications at Giant Eagle Pharmacy locations, creating an unmatched patient experience."
In addition to access to Rx21's expertise and clinical support, Giant Eagle Specialty Pharmacy customers suffering from Hepatitis C and transplant conditions now have 24 hour a day access to pharmacists ready to provide counsel on medication management.
Services available to all Giant Eagle Specialty Pharmacy customers include:
-- Full support of prior authorizations. -- Coordination of financial assistance including co-payment assistance for eligible prescriptions. -- A dedicated team of patient care advocates supporting patients regularly throughout their treatment. -- Routine communication and updates with doctors' offices. -- Drug administration counseling including injection training when patients begin therapy. -- Regular refill reminder calls.
Specialty medications and pharmacy services are used in the treatment of chronic conditions and in complex treatment regimens for Cancer, Hepatitis C, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Psoriasis, Crohn's Disease, Multiple Sclerosis and many others. Medications used to treat above conditions are often significantly more complex than traditional prescriptions, and in many occasions may involve financial aid and ongoing management of side effects, dosage changes, refills and adherence.
Giant Eagle accepts most insurance policies for specialty pharmacy medications, including those customers on Medicare and Medicaid. For more information on Giant Eagle Specialty Pharmacy and upcoming events, visit www.GiantEagle.com/Specialty-Rx for details.
About Giant Eagle
Giant Eagle Inc., ranked 29 on Forbes magazine's largest private corporations list, is one of the nation's largest food retailers and distributors with approximately $9.9 billion in annual sales. Celebrating the 25(th) anniversary of its Apples for the Students program, Giant Eagle is also a recent recipient of Grocery Headquarters' Retailer of the Year Award and the EPA's ENERGY STAR Retail Partner of the Year Award. Founded in 1931, Giant Eagle, Inc. has grown to be the number one supermarket retailer in the region with 420 locations throughout western Pennsylvania, north central Ohio, northern West Virginia and Maryland.
SOURCE Giant Eagle Inc.