Consumers miss Target’s red Rx bottle

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The rollout of CVS Pharmacy departments in Target stores is bringing enhanced pharmacy services to the discount retail chain. But it seems that a number of Target customers are lamenting a now-missing feature of its pharmacy: the distinctive, uniquely shaped red prescription bottle.

target-clearrx-red-bottlesAn Associated Press report yesterday about these customers’ discontent triggered a flood of media coverage. Consumers said the Target pill bottle design — dubbed ClearRx — was more convenient and safer because it was easier to read and helped them tell medications apart faster.

Customers also said that the Target bottle design just plain looked nicer.

“Target’s pill bottles were so convenient and aesthetically pleasing that they’re like works of art (no, really, the bottle was put on display at the Museum of Modern Art),” a Good Housekeeping article said Wednesday. “Now customers will have to be subjected to your run-of-the-mill bottles.”

Consumers also have been complaining about the disappearance of Target’s red bottles on Twitter via the hastag #redbottlesrock.

CVS — whose overall pharmacy count jumped to 9,600 with the acquisition of Target’s pharmacy business — has been using the same bottles it uses in the rest of its drug stores at the Target locations. According to the AP report, CVS said it’s working on a new system for dispensing scripts.

In 2010, Target’s ClearRx prescription bottle and packaging received the Design of the Decade award from the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA).

The ClearRx system had a simple front label with larger type and clear instructions, plus a top label that enabled users to quickly identify a medication. Bigger print on the D-shaped bottle helped users see caution information more easily as well. In addition, a free label magnifier was provided behind the patient information card, which was inserted beneath the back label to provide convenient access and storage. Color-coded ID rings slipped over the mouth of the bottle to help prevent medicine mixups.


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