Promoting the Removal of Tobacco Products From Pharmacies

OCTOBER 23, 2014

A recent Wall Street Journal article titled "CVS Plays Hardball With Rival Drugstores" describes how CVS Health's Caremark pharmacy benefits unit is responding to some employer requests by creating a preferred pharmacy network comprised of tobacco-free pharmacies, under which patients would have a higher co-pay if they went to a pharmacy that sells tobacco products.

Although some pharmacies are complaining that it could give CVS an advantage, I think it is really an ingenious stroke to promote a courageous decision to remove tobacco from all CVS pharmacies. Most national pharmacy organizations have policies to remove tobacco sales from pharmacies, and now, CVS has come up with a way to further promote those policies, which most pharmacists support. For this action, I congratulate them.