retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Associated Press reports that CVS, which has pulled all tobacco products from its shelves as a way of demonstrating that it is more than just a drug store, but rather a part of the health care solution continuum, is going one step further to make its point.

According to the story, CVS "is developing a new tobacco-free pharmacy network that it will offer as a choice to employers and other clients of its Caremark pharmacy benefits management business. Employers, insurers and unions hire pharmacy benefits managers, or PBMs, to run their prescription drug coverage.

"The new CVS network will slap an extra co-payment on patients who fill their prescriptions at stores that sell tobacco. That payment won't apply to prescriptions filled at stores in the tobacco-free network, which would include CVS and Target or other stores that don't sell tobacco. Target Corp. quit selling tobacco in 1996."
KC's View:
Everybody is trying to control health care costs, and almost everybody - except of course the people working for companies that sell this poison knowing that it will addict and probably kill them - seems comfortable with the knowledge that people would be better off if they did not smoke. So if CVS can come up with one more rationale to get people to quit, that's perfectly fine with me … and it strikes me as yet another way the company differentiates itself from its competition.