The Jean Coutu Group (PJC) Inc.

The Jean Coutu Group (PJC) Inc.

August 25, 2005 00:00 ET

Brooks Eckerd Pharmacy partners with Ovations in Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit Effort

LONGUEUIL, QC, Aug. 25 /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 partnered
with Ovations, a business unit of UnitedHealth Group, to provide consumers
with information about the new Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit Program
(Part D).
Brooks Eckerd Pharmacy is partnering with Ovations in a number of areas
relative to the benefit program, in order to provide customers access to the
Show Me Guide at its pharmacy counters nationwide. The Show Me Guide is a 24-
page educational booklet developed by Ovations that provides a general
overview of the new Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit. UnitedHealth serves
more than 55 million individuals in the United States and its business unit,
Ovations, is the largest U.S. business dedicated to serving the health and
well-being of people age 50 and older, providing a full spectrum of Medicare
This partnership marks the launch of Brooks Eckerd Pharmacy's public
education and community outreach campaign. Over 200 pharmacists have been
trained to provide Outreach programs to their local communities. The campaign
will provide Medicare beneficiaries, caregivers, and the general public with
important information through a variety of sources, including an educational
phone service staffed with experts trained to meet the needs of Medicare
beneficiaries as well as the local Outreach programs.
"Consumer education will be critical to the success of the new Medicare
prescription drug benefit," said Michel Coutu, President and Chief Executive
Officer of PJC USA. "In addition to Outreach, we will be hosting Medicare days
in our stores for seniors and caregivers to get the most up to date plan and
enrollment information. We take patient education very seriously and have put
together a very comprehensive program to assist in this process."
"Community pharmacists play a vital role in helping Medicare
beneficiaries understand their drug coverage options," explained Michele
Vilaret, Director of Governmental Programs for Brooks Eckerd Pharmacy. "We
want to reach people in our communities and help them to understand how the
new Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit can provide savings on drug costs. We
are pleased to be working with organizations that share this commitment and
will be involved in our outreach activities. By partnering with leading
organizations such as Ovations, we can strengthen our local Outreach efforts.
We expect other organizations will support this important effort as we
continue to build partnerships that will help make information available to

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
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