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Publix ending free prescription program on June 1

LAKELAND, Fla. — Publix is ending a program that allows customers access to some prescription drugs for free.

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The supermarket giant, whose headquarters are based in Lakeland, Florida, has 1,297 stores across seven states according to its website, will end its program on June 1, according to reporters from The Ledger of Lakeland and the West Orlando News. At least 1,200 of the stores have pharmacies, the Ledger reported.

“While we are no longer offering medications for free, many will still be available at Publix Pharmacy at little to no out-of-pocket cost with most insurance plans,” a Publix flyer obtained by West Orlando News reads.

A Publix pharmacist in the southwest Florida city of Lehigh Acres confirmed the news to WINK-TV.

A Cox Media Group reporter independently confirmed the new policy in a brief interview with a Publix pharmacist in the Tampa, Florida, area.

The free prescriptions include medications used to treat high blood pressure, heart failure, and diabetes, according to WFOR-TV.

The program allows consumers to obtain antibiotics including amoxicillin, ampicillin, SMZ-TMP and penicillin VK, according to Supermarket News. Prescriptions were also filled for high blood pressure and diabetes, the Sun-Sentinel reported.

The free prescription program began in 2007, according to the newspaper. In 2020, Publix announced it had filled 100 million prescriptions under the program, WTVJ-TV reported.

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Maria Brous, director of communications for Publix, did not respond to an email asking about the program, The Ledger reported.

Publix has been administering COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters during the pandemic, according to the newspaper.