CVS: Expansion of MinuteClinics to offset tobacco revenue loss

September 22, 2014

In an increasing effort to continue to play a complementary role with primary care practices in providing care to patients, CVS Health has worked to deplete existing cigarette inventory at CVS/pharmacy stores without receiving new shipments.

In an increasing effort to continue to play a complementary role with primary care practices in providing care to patients, CVS Health has worked to deplete existing cigarette inventory at CVS/pharmacy stores without receiving new shipments.

CVS Caremark will drop tobacco products in October

CVS Health ended tobacco sales nearly 1 month ahead of the target date. The drugstore retailer’s exit from the tobacco category has received overwhelmingly positive feedback, according to the company.

CVS Health will offer a comprehensive and personalized smoking cessation program, designed with input from national experts, will combine the efforts of CVS/Pharmacy, CVS/MinuteClinic and CVS/Caremark and will include 4 critical components: An assessment of the smoker’s readiness to quit, education to give smokers the information and tools they need to quit, medication support to help curb the desire to use tobacco and coaching to help individuals stay motivated and prevent relapses.

Smoking cessation services delivered by CVS pharmacists will be available at all CVS/Pharmacy locations daily and CVS/MinuteClinic nurse practitioners will provide counseling through the Start to Stop program which begins with an assessment to create a customized treatment plan. Patients in stores will also have access to smoking cessation informational materials. These resources will be supplemented with information online as well as a smoking quit line operated by the American Cancer Society for additional support and access to services in local communities.

At the beginning of September the chain’s parent company, headquartered in Woonsocket, R.I., changed its corporate name to CVS Health from CVS Caremark Corp.

CVS Health includes the company’s retail business, which continues to be called CVS/Pharmacy; its pharmacy benefit management business, which is now known as CVS/Caremark; its walk-in medical clinics, CVS/MinuteClinic; and its specialty pharmacy business, CVS/Specialty.

“CVS Health is using its decision to stop selling tobacco products as part of a broader strategy to become known as a healthcare provider by offering more services through its MinuteClinic business,” according to John Santilli, of Access Market Intelligence, which provides market intelligence to the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries.

“CVS Health believes the loss of tobacco revenues will be incrementally offset by the expansion of its MinuteClinics,” Santilli continues. “CVS Health plans to open more clinics and offer additional services such as infusion therapy, vaccinations, routine lab tests, and wellness services such as its smoking cessation program. MinuteClinics, with more than 800 locations, are staffed by nurse practitioners and physician assistances as the company plans to fill the growing shortage of primary care physicians.”

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