Pharmacies in Publix supermarkets across five Southern states will distribute seven antibiotics free to patients with prescriptions, the chain said today. The CEO allows that one goal is to drive customer traffic, but it's also an example of the private sector assisting access to affordable health care, the AP reports. Wal-Mart and Kmart recently started selling uber-cheap meds.
Publix, which operates 684 pharmacies, will provide 14-day supplies of the oral antibiotics, plus unlimited refills. A Florida health official says he expects the offer to be very popular with the state's 3.6 million uninsured residents. Gov. Charlie Crist attended the announcement to show his support for the measure. "It can't be more affordable than free," he said. (Read more health care stories.)