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PROVANTAGE, SHOPKO'S NEWEST BUSINESS VENTURE, OFFERS CUSTOMIZED HEALTH CARE COST CONTAINMENT OPPORTUNITIES

 GREEN BAY, Wis., Sept. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- ProVantage(SM) Prescription Management Services, the newest business venture of ShopKo Stores Inc. (NYSE: SKO), is a major managed health care initiative which offers versatile new health care cost containment opportunities to corporations, insurance groups and other organizations, according to Dale P. Kramer, ShopKo president and chief executive officer.
 "ProVantage is a unique prescription benefit management program with the ability to customize plans to fit virtually any needs," Kramer explained. "It is an innovative, value-added program consisting of Mail Service Pharmacy, National Retail Pharmacy Network Access, ProMax Integrated Pharmacy Program and Optical Services."
 ProVantage Prescription Management Services is located in a 10,000 square foot dedicated facility in Green Bay, Wis., specifically designed for the cost-efficient dispensing of prescriptions. It is scheduled to be operational in early October. When fully operational, ProVantage will employ about 140 people.
 Among the first to reach agreements with ProVantage are the National Association of Retired Credit Union People, Madison, Wis.; Krueger International, Green Bay, Wis.; and Paychex, Rochester, N.Y.
 ProVantage is a logical extension of a 22-year retail pharmacy success story based on the philosophy of customer service, convenience and value established by ShopKo, one of the nation's largest mass retailers with annual revenues exceeding $1.7 billion. An innovator in establishing in-store health-related services, ShopKo continues to be a recognized leader, operating 117 pharmacies throughout the country.
 "The ShopKo philosophy and performance has resulted in our retail pharmacies filling 58 percent more prescriptions per store than the average chain drugstore," states Mike Bettiga, ShopKo's vice president of pharmacy operations.
 "In establishing ProVantage, ShopKo has moved that philosophy of customer service, convenience and value into managed health care," Bettiga explains. "ProVantage is an aggressive product offering that promises benefit managers that same depth of commitment."
 Mail service pharmacy, as a group prescription benefit, was a billion dollar business in 1986. Today, it is nearly a $5 billion business, having grown at a 33 percent rate over the last six years. It is projected to be an $8 billion industry by 1995.
 Maintenance drugs such as insulin, heart, ulcer and blood pressure medications typically account for 70 percent of an organization's prescription expense.
 "Maintenance drug costs can be managed through ProVantage Mail Service Pharmacy. Dispensing maintenance quantities, up to 90-day supplies, reduces administrative and dispensing costs. And centralized distribution allows ProVantage to buy in larger quantities, affecting economies of scale," Bettiga emphasizes.
 ProFill(SM), ProVantage's sophisticated prescription-filling procedure, tracks every prescription order with automated-verification and personal-intervention procedures to assure eligibility, accurate dosage, potential drug interactions, generic availability and, as importantly, to help control costs of the prescription benefit while providing superior service to employees and retirees who use the program.
 "ProVantage also offers a walk-in retail pharmacy prescription benefit, ProVantage National Retail Pharmacy Network Access," states Joe Coffini, director of Managed Care Programs.
 In addition to ShopKo's 117 retail pharmacies, ProVantage's network accesses over 30,000 additional pharmacies, including those in most major pharmacy chains. That means a company that contracts with ProVantage offers its employees and retirees access to prescriptions throughout the Continental United States.
 ProMax maximizes control of the prescription benefit by combining benefits of Mail Service Pharmacy and National Retail Pharmacy Network Access with a wide range of periodic management reports and drug utilization review. ProMax integration permits detailed monitoring and maximum control of the entire prescription benefit plan.
 ProMax also maximizes opportunities for volume discounts through added features such as Velocity Pricing, which provides even greater discounts on those medications which are used in greatest quantities.
 "Participants located in ShopKo retail areas have ProVantage Optical Services as another value-added offering," Coffini adds. "This offering incorporates ProVantage's special discounts to extend excellent price, value and service on prescription eye wear, contact lenses, safety glasses and nonprescription sunglasses.
 "Whatever part of ProVantage Prescription Management Services a user chooses, we are dedicated to providing the same service, convenience and value that has become the hallmark of ShopKo Stores Inc.," Coffini emphasized.
 -0- 9/14/93
 /CONTACT: Sheree L. Olson, director of public relations, ShopKo Stores, 414-496-4186/
 (SKO)


CO: ShopKo Stores, Inc.; ProVantage ST: Wisconsin IN: REA MTC SU: PDT

BM -- CL021 -- 1885 09/14/93 15:58 EDT
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Date:Sep 14, 1993
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