The Jean Coutu Group (PJC) Inc.

The Jean Coutu Group (PJC) Inc.

July 26, 2005 00:00 ET

Brooks Eckerd Pharmacy at center of Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit implementation

LONGUEUIL, QC, July 26 /CCNMatthews/ - The Jean Coutu Group (PJC), Inc.,
the fourth largest drugstore chain in North America, announced that its wholly
owned subsidiary, The Jean Coutu Group (PJC) USA, Inc. ("PJC USA" or "the
Company" which operates under the name Brooks Eckerd Pharmacy), has undertaken
an important initiative in its Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit community
outreach program.
President George W. Bush recently launched the government's nationwide
Medicare Outreach Campaign in Washington, DC. Ms. Michele Vilaret, Director of
Governmental Programs for Brooks Eckerd Pharmacy, was the sole representative
of a North American drugstore chain to be invited to attend the inauguration,
an acknowledgement of the Brooks Eckerd partnership with the Centers for
Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Social Security Administration in
this Outreach program.
Accompanied by Health and Human Service Secretary, Mike Leavitt and the
CMS Administrator, Mark McClellan, President Bush highlighted the importance
of educating seniors so that they are able to take full advantage of the
program and specifically recognized community pharmacies across America for
their important role.
"Brooks Eckerd Pharmacy is a proud partner of the government in this
initiative to educate the population about the new Medicare Prescription Drug
Benefit. Our solution is customer focused, allowing us to further enhance the
relationship with our senior customers," explained Michel Coutu, President and
Chief Executive Officer of PJC USA.
Brooks Eckerd Pharmacy will offer its customers value-added choices and
solutions for their Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit needs. Over the coming
months, Brooks Eckerd Pharmacy's community outreach program will roll out
focused in-store events for seniors and caregivers to assist in the education,
enrollment and qualification processes. In addition, a Pharmacist Speakers
Bureau has been set up to enhance the outreach effort across the communities
served by the network. The Brooks Eckerd Pharmacy Medicare initiative is based
on the Company's strong emphasis on Pharmacy First, keeping the organization
at the leading edge to better serve its customers as they prepare for the
January 1, 2006 implementation date.

About The Jean Coutu Group

The Jean Coutu Group (PJC), Inc. (TSX: PJC.SV.A) is the fourth largest
drugstore chain in North America and the second largest in both the eastern
United States and Canada. The Company and its combined network of
2,243 corporate and affiliated drugstores (under the banners of Brooks and
Eckerd, PJC Jean Coutu, PJC Clinique and PJC Santé Beauté) employ more than
60,000 people.
The Jean Coutu Group's United States operations employ over
46,000 persons and comprise 1,922 corporate owned stores located in 18 states
of the Northeastern, mid-Atlantic and Southeastern United States. The
Jean Coutu Group's Canadian operations and drugstores affiliated to its
network employ over 14,000 people and comprise 321 PJC Jean Coutu franchised
stores in Quebec, New Brunswick and Ontario.

"Safe Harbor" Statement under the U.S. Private Securities Litigation
Reform Act of 1995: Certain statements contained in this press release may
constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the U.S. Private
Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements
involve a number of known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors
which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Company
to be materially different from any future results, performance or
achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. The
words "looking forward," "looking ahead," "believe(s)," "should," "may,"
"expect(s)," "anticipate(s)," "likely," "opportunity," and similar
expressions, among others, identify forward-looking statements. The Company
undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained in
this press release.

For further information: Hélène Bisson, Media and Public Relations,
(514) 393-1180, ext. 343, 1-877-894-8993; Michael Murray, Director, Investor
Relations, The Jean Coutu Group (PJC), Inc., (450) 646-9611, ext. 1068;
Source: The Jean Coutu Group (PJC), Inc.: C. Daniel Haron, Brooks Eckerd
Pharmacy, , (401) 468-2871