CVS Pharmacy stops selling Tobacco for Public Health

CVS Pharmacy stops selling Tobacco for Public Health

CVS Pharmacy, the second largest pharmacy chain in the United States after Walgreens, has stopped selling tobacco for public health. The pharmacy chain has executed the change nearly a month earlier than considered.

It has also changed its corporate name from CVS Caremark to CVS Health and is trying to emerge as a health-care provider in the growing U. S. market. The company has become the first national pharmacy chain to end tobacco sales. CVS is looking to highlight its health-care offerings as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act added 8 million people to insurance rolls countrywide.

"CVS is pushing aggressively ahead in terms of becoming a provider of care and having in-store pharmacists and nurse practitioners offer high-quality care in a low-cost environment", said David Larsen, an analyst with Leerink Partners in Boston.

CVS runs 7,700 drugstores, 900 walk-in medical clinics and a pharmacy-benefits manager with about 65 million members. CVS has displayed information about its smoking-cessation program in the popular spot at the back of the checkout counters that were used to house cigarettes and chewing tobacco.

Company officials said that they don't have any plan to decrease other unhealthy products like high-fat snacks and sugar-laden soft drinks. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 18% of adults currently smoke in the U. S.

The company's tobacco program was planned to help in reducing about half a million deaths caused by smoking every year in the U. S.

Chief Executive Officer Larry Merlo said that by removing cigarettes and tobacco products from sales counters in their stores, they can make a difference in health of Americans. Merlo also said that people are taking control of their health and their 26,000 pharmacists and nurse practitioners are helping people to improve their health.

The company is expected to face a loss of about $2 billion per annum in revenue because of removal of tobacco from stores, according to CVC. In last 10 years, CVC has extended its health care by opening 860 in-store clinics in
38 states and the District of Columbia.

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