Retailer announces plan to charge customers for filling prescriptions at tobacco-selling drugstores
CVS’s decision to stop selling tobacco products this year boosted its positive press, if not its sales; the company expects the move will cost about $2 billion in annual revenue. But the decision was part of a larger play to brand itself as a company focused on health care.
According to an article in the Washington Post, the pharmacy retailer announced another significant step in its anti-tobacco effort: Caremark, the pharmacy benefits management arm of CVS, will soon require “some customers” to make a $15 co-payment on prescriptions filled at other pharmacies that still sell tobacco products.
The new plan plays into the company’s efforts to strike lucrative partnerships with healthcare systems who value having healthier patients, encouraging CVS customers to fill prescriptions at CVS-owned pharmacies while putting financial pressure on other pharmacies to abandon tobacco sales. Only time will tell if this latest move causes other drugstore retailers to bite the bullet and take tobacco off the shelves. CVS competitor Walgreens, along with Walmart, have recently made it clear that they have no plans to do so.