Rite Aid launches Wellness+ extension for seniors

CAMP HILL, Pa. — Rite Aid is launching an extension to its Wellness+ loyalty card program aimed at elderly customers, the retail pharmacy chain said Wednesday.

Rite Aid announced Wellness65+, which makes customers age 65 years and older who enroll automatically eligible for an expanded pharmacist consultation, during which they can bring in current medications for a review by the pharmacist and discuss immunization needs.

"Attracting new senior customers represents a key growth opportunity for Rite Aid because seniors tend to be our best pharmacy patients," Rite Aid COO Ken Martindale said. "In addition, growing its senior patient base gives Rite Aid the opportunity to offer pharmacy services, such as immunizations and medication therapy management services, to a segment of the population that stands to benefit the most from the positive health outcomes these services provide."

Wellness65+ Wednesday is a service available to members of the new program in which all members will receive 20% off all qualifying purchases and access to activities, such as free health screenings, health information and other offers. Wellness65+ Wednesday will kick off on July 3.

Patients also will have access to blood pressure screening and information about Medicare Part D, as well as services available to Wellness+ customers in general, such as all-day access to Rite Aid pharmacists online or by phone, +UP Rewards and the ability to earn points toward becoming gold, silver or bronze members. In conjunction with the launch of Wellness65+, all Wellness+ members will earn one point for every dollar they spend on co-payments for prescriptions supported by government-funded programs for up to 25 points per prescription; that benefit will not be available in New York and New Jersey.

On July 8, the chain will start a nine-month, nationwide tour to support the new extension, visiting more than 30 markets and working with local businesses to sponsor special community wellness events for elderly people and their families, including screenings, pharmacist consultations and advice from local experts on fitness, finance, legal issues and technology. A national, multichannel marketing campaign for Wellness65+ will start on June 30.

Wellness65+ is the second major extension of the Wellness+ program. In 2011, the chain launched Wellness+ for Diabetes, aimed at diabetic customers and their families, which includes special offers on products related to the disease and access to content on WebMD.