The Jean Coutu Group (PJC) Inc.

The Jean Coutu Group (PJC) Inc.

March 17, 2005 00:00 ET

Eckerd and Brooks Pharmacy renews its pharmaceutical supply agreement with Mckesson

LONGUEUIL AND SAN FRANCISCO, March 17 /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 Eckerd and Brooks
Pharmacy), has renewed and expanded its comprehensive supply agreement with
McKesson Corporation ("McKesson"), North America's largest pharmaceutical
distributor. McKesson now becomes the primary supplier of pharmaceutical
products for over 1900 Eckerd and Brooks pharmacies.
Building on a 25 year business relationship, this five-year extended
agreement will assist Eckerd and Brooks Pharmacy to deliver on its commitment
to customer service while optimizing supply chain efficiency using McKesson's
industry-leading supply solutions and strategic programs. The Company will
also benefit from McKesson facilities that offer access to inventory for
single-source purchasing, to enhance productivity and efficiency as well as
the safety and integrity of the pharmaceutical products pharmacies receive.
"At Eckerd and Brooks, we are focused on simplifying and optimizing our
supply chain. Our number one priority is to execute a seamless integration,
maintaining the service level and quality of care that our pharmacy patients
are accustomed to receiving from Eckerd and Brooks," said Michel Coutu,
President and CEO of PJC USA. "We appreciate the innovative solutions McKesson
delivers to help us maintain our commitment to our customers, and look forward
to an extended, strategic relationship during this exciting time."
"McKesson is pleased to continue a long and productive relationship with
Eckerd and Brooks by providing industry-leading service levels and
complementary programs that help pharmacists focus their time on serving
patients," said Paul Julian, executive vice president, group president,
McKesson. "Our national distribution strength allows us to rapidly integrate
the 570 additional Eckerd and Brooks stores into our service agreement and
supply them with the right medicines at the right time."
Prior to the acquisition of more than 1500 Eckerd stores by the Company,
McKesson served as primary supplier to the Brooks organization, and to more
than 1000 of the acquired Eckerd locations. A transition team, composed of
senior managers from both Eckerd and Brooks and McKesson, is now focusing on
integrating the 570 additional stores covered by the agreement by April 1,

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 2,225
corporate and affiliated drugstores (under the banners of Eckerd and Brooks,
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 1,904 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 McKesson

McKesson Corporation (NYSE:MCK) is a Fortune 16 healthcare services and
information technology company dedicated to helping its customers deliver high-
quality healthcare by reducing costs, streamlining processes and improving the
quality and safety of patient care. Over the course of its 170-year history,
McKesson has grown by providing pharmaceutical and medical-surgical supply
management across the spectrum of care; healthcare information technology for
hospitals, physicians, homecare and payors; hospital and retail pharmacy
automation; and services for manufacturers and payors designed to improve
outcomes for patients. For more information, visit us at .

"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: Michael Murray, Director, Investor Relations,
The Jean Coutu Group (PJC), Inc.,, (450) 646-9611
ext. 1068; Hélène Bisson, Media and Public Relations, (514) 842-8860 ext. 343;
Larry Kurtz, Vice President, Investor Relations, McKesson Corporation,, (415) 983-8418; Sources: The Jean Coutu Group
(PJC), Inc., C. Daniel Haron, Eckerd and Brooks Pharmacy,, (401) 468-2871; McKesson Corporation, Maggie
Essman,, (415) 983-9149