Earlier this year in February, CVS Caremark announced it would eliminate tobacco products from its shelves. The estimates were that it would cost CVS around $2 billion in annual sales. On top of that, CVS Caremark would identify itself as CVS Health going forward. So their CEO believes this is something brand spanking new in the pharmacy business?
Express Scripts, the nation’s largest pharmacy benefits manager, is looking to do the same thing. They are looking to create these “networks.” Although, they haven’t decided to go through with it. We can say with confidence they are gathering data as we speak.
We continue to get swamped with compliance forms for them to be sign or be dropped from network. Albeit, we’ve signed and faxed them multiple times. However, somewhere in corporate, they’ve lost it in probably a massive pile of surveys. Note that none of our pharmacies carry tobacco or alcohol products.
As we read through all this commotion of “alcohol and tobacco” free pharmacies and how it’s the best thing since sliced bread, we realized it’s like Steve Jobs level innovation by CVS Caremark to do this, is quite entertaining. Do you know why?
Because your independent pharmacies have been doing this for decades, Modern Drug has never carried alcohol or tobacco products for over 15 years. Our family of pharmacists have worked and shadowed probably close to a dozen other independent pharmacies in the past decade. We don’t recall any of them carrying tobacco products.
The bottom line is we wish to encourage more people to look for the small shops. The independent pharmacies that don’t generate this hoopla over nothing. We aren’t going to eliminate tobacco products to create a giant marketing scheme for your greater health–because we most likely don’t have it anyways. We figured that was the best way to do it from the beginning.
We just want to continue serving our community, not get mixed up in the politics and commotion. =)