Giant Food stores will offer free generic antibiotics to customers with a prescription for the next three months.

The program covers 36 generic antibiotics including amoxicillin, penicillin and ciprofloxacin. The initiative begins Friday and runs through March 21.

Giant's decision to offer free antibiotics comes as more Americans postpone needed care because of the ailing economy, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation poll released in October.

Several experts tell The Washington Post that this is the first time they've heard of a retailer giving away prescription drugs.

Giant is the largest supermarket chain in the Washington region with 182 stores and more than 160 in-store pharmacies.