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Great-West Life and Shoppers Drug Mart announce new health support programs for Great-West Life clients

TORONTO, March 27, 2013 /CNW/ - With the prevalence of chronic disease conditions on the rise, Great-West Life and Shoppers Drug Mart have entered into an agreement to introduce two new health support programs for Great-West Life clients.

Through the new agreement, participating Shoppers Drug Mart pharmacists will offer a diabetes support program for eligible Great-West Life plan members who are living with diabetes, as well as a comprehensive medication counselling program for eligible Great-West Life plan members who are taking one of the specific maintenance medications.

"As a leading insurer, we know plan members want more support from their employer and plan provider than simply paying their claims," says Brad Fedorchuk Vice-President, Group Marketing for Great-West Life. "Increasingly, what they're asking for is help in managing their health, and that is not accomplished through medications alone. Great-West Life recognizes the value Shoppers Drug Mart pharmacists can bring and the role of pharmacists in supporting positive health outcomes on behalf of plan members and plan sponsors. As Canada's largest pharmacy chain, Shoppers Drug Mart is able to deliver these health support programs on a national basis. The Shoppers Drug Mart store network, which is open and accessible seven days a week, including more than 1,125 participating pharmacies, offers more potential points of access than any other pharmacy services provider in the country."

The diabetes support program was developed to provide Great-West Life plan members, who are living with diabetes, the opportunity to connect with a participating Shoppers Drug Mart pharmacist trained in diabetes management. Additionally, plan members will have access to more than 450 Shoppers Drug Mart pharmacists who are Certified Diabetes Educators. The diabetes support program will include A1C testing, medication therapy recommendations and lifestyle management counselling.

The medication counselling program encourages plan member medication cost awareness and medication adherence for better health outcomes, while reducing drug plan costs to the plan sponsor. Both health support programs are multi-year and are intended to be of a long-term nature. The programs build upon the pharmaceutical knowledge and counseling expertise of Shoppers Drug Mart pharmacists to provide extended support to Great-West Life plan members on a completely voluntary basis, at no cost to plan members or their benefits plans.

"This agreement demonstrates and accelerates the expanded role that pharmacists perform in helping patients better manage their health and utilizes pharmacists' knowledge and trusted patient relationships," says Dr. Dorian Lo, Executive Vice-President, Pharmacy & Healthcare for Shoppers Drug Mart. "Through this agreement, we are furthering our commitment to help payers improve the health of their plan members, while also effectively managing rising health care costs."

Great-West Life is a leader in innovative drug plan management solutions. Through the new agreement with Shoppers Drug Mart, the diabetes support program will initially be made available to approximately 120,000 Great-West Life plan members and the medications counselling program will be made available to approximately 15,000 Great-West Life plan members.

About Great-West Life
Founded in Winnipeg in 1891, Great-West Life has long been a leader in the group benefits marketplace. The company has established this position over many decades, through its commitment to superior customer service and through a comprehensive selection of cost-effective benefits plans.

Great-West Life offers effective benefit solutions for employee groups of any size. The company serves the needs of more than 32,000 plan sponsors and their plan members, and handles approximately 50 million group health and dental claims transactions for its plan members and their dependents each year.

About Shoppers Drug Mart Corporation
Shoppers Drug Mart Corporation is one of the most recognized and trusted names in Canadian retailing.  The Company is the licensor of full-service retail drug stores operating under the name Shoppers Drug Mart (Pharmaprix in Québec).  With more than 1,245 Shoppers Drug Mart and Pharmaprix stores operating in prime locations in each province and two territories, the Company is one of the most convenient retailers in Canada.  The Company also licenses or owns 55 medical clinic pharmacies operating under the name Shoppers Simply Pharmacy (Pharmaprix Simplement Santé in Québec) and six luxury beauty destinations operating as Murale.  As well, the Company owns and operates 62 Shoppers Home Health Care stores, making it the largest Canadian retailer of home health care products and services.  In addition to its retail store network, the Company owns Shoppers Drug Mart Specialty Health Network Inc., a provider of specialty drug distribution, pharmacy and comprehensive patient support services, and MediSystem Technologies Inc., a provider of pharmaceutical products and services to long-term care facilities.

SOURCE Shoppers Drug Mart Corporation

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