CVS Caremark has decided NOT to sell tobacco products through the pharmacy chain October onwards (in the United States). CVS will lose nearly $2 billion in sales, but public health groups have hailed the decision! This certainly will put the pressure on other pharmacy retailers to discontinue sales of tobacco products as well.
“We have about 26,000 pharmacists and nurse practitioners helping patients manage chronic problems like high cholesterol, high blood pressure and heart disease, all of which are linked to smoking,” said Larry J. Merlo, chief executive of CVS. “We came to the decision that cigarettes and providing health care just don’t go together in the same setting.”
Making lasting change is never easy, but this decision by CVS will definitely set a precedent for better public health decisions by other pharmacy retailers.