The Jean Coutu Group (PJC) Inc.

The Jean Coutu Group (PJC) Inc.

September 26, 2005 00:00 ET

Brooks Eckerd Pharmacy well positioned to serve seniors and caregivers following the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announcement

LONGUEUIL, QC, Sept. 26 /CCNMatthews/ - The Jean Coutu Group (PJC), Inc.,
the fourth largest drugstore chain in North America, is pleased to announce
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),
is well positioned to serve Medicare seniors and caregivers, thanks to the
successful partnerships contracted with the various organizations who have
been awarded Prescription Drug Plan (PDP) contracts, as announced on Friday,
September 23rd, by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
The CMS announcement of Regional PDP's to serve the United States' senior
Medicare population validates Brooks Eckerd Pharmacy's preparation and
positioning to provide superior service to seniors and Caregivers for the
January 1, 2006 launch of the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit.
Over the past months, Brooks Eckerd Pharmacy has successfully built close
relationships with each PDP in all 14 Medicare regions the Company operates.
In addition, Brooks Eckerd Pharmacy has formed strategic alliances with a
number of organizations such as Humana, Ovations, CIGNA, Highmark, Instill and
the UPMC Healthplan. These alliances will further ensure the success of the
Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit Programs for the Company's senior customers
in the involved markets.
Furthermore, there has been ongoing activity within the Brooks Eckerd
Pharmacy Outreach Program, which features over 200 Pharmacists, members of the
Brooks Eckerd Speakers Bureau, who are reaching seniors at special events in
their local communities. These efforts have received acknowledgement from both
CMS and the Social Security Administration.
"Our Pharmacists play a vital role in helping Medicare beneficiaries
understand their drug coverage options and utilize them effectively," said
Michel Coutu, President and CEO of PJC USA. "Our alliances with the various
organizations which have been awarded PDP contracts, along with our
comprehensive rollout will clearly enhance the Medicare Prescription Drug
Benefit offer for our senior customers. We are pleased to be working with
organizations that share the commitment and involvement with us in this
significant effort."
To add momentum to its Outreach Program, Brooks Eckerd Pharmacy has
recently partnered with the National Family Caregivers Association (NFCA). As
part of this partnership, Brooks Eckerd Pharmacy will be participating in
activities related to National Family Caregivers month in November as well as
the NCFA's national campaign called Caring Every Day. The Caring Every Day
Campaign encourages family caregivers to take three steps every day to make
their lives easier, improve care and raise awareness.
"We are delighted that Brooks Eckerd Pharmacy is partnering with NFCA on
The Every Day Campaign", said Suzanne Mintz, President and Co-Founder of NFCA.
"Today, one in five Americans is caring for a parent, spouse or child with a
chronic condition or illness. They will play a key role in helping loved ones
make decisions about the new Medicare Drug program. Our partnership with
Brooks Eckerd Pharmacy will help reach more family caregivers during this
critical time when education and support of the new Medicare Drug program is
so vital."

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 2,171
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 1,850 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.

About NFCA

National Family Caregivers Association (NFCA) is the leading organization
for family caregivers in the United States. NFCA educates, supports, empowers,
and speaks up for the more than 50 million Americans who care for loved ones
with a chronic illness or disability. NFCA reaches across the boundaries of
diagnoses, relationships and life stages to address the common needs and
concerns of all family caregivers. For more information visit or call 1 800 896-3650.

"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,