Promoting the Removal of Tobacco Products From Pharmacies

October 23, 2014

Most national pharmacy organizations have policies to remove tobacco sales from pharmacies, and now, CVS Health has come up with a way to further promote those policies.

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.