Pharmacy franchise adopts formal policy prohibiting tobacco sales
DUBLIN, Ohio — Medicine Shoppe International has become the latest pharmacy retailer to drop tobacco products.
Most Medicine Shoppe and Medicap Pharmacy locations have been tobacco-free for some time, because selling tobacco products fails to align with the franchise network’s goal of promoting healthy communities, according to Medicine Shoppe International vice president John Fiacco. When managed care organizations began penalizing patients who use pharmacies that sell tobacco products with increased co-payments, the franchise system and its franchisees implemented a formal policy prohibiting sales of tobacco and tobacco-related products.
“Each of our Medicine Shoppe and Medicap Pharmacy franchisees pride themselves on being a community health care destination,” Fiacco said in a statement. “As retailers, we believe our franchisees can play a significant role in limiting access to tobacco and tobacco-related products — and in preventing the diseases and health problems those products can cause.”
Fiacco added that many Medicine Shoppe and Medicap Pharmacy locations sell smoking cessation aids, such as nicotine replacement gum and nicotine patches, and offer smoking cessation education programs, while others partner with local smoking cessation programs to fill prescriptions for medications that help patients quit smoking.
Removing products that contribute to disease and addiction is a natural transition for Medicine Shoppe and Medicap Pharmacy franchisees, he noted.
“This nationwide initiative marks a continuation of our commitment to improving the health and wellness of the local communities we serve and our dedication to providing a higher level of patient care,” Fiacco stated.
In early September, CVS Health announced the end of tobacco sales at all CVS/pharmacy stores, making it the first national pharmacy chain to drop tobacco products. The company had unveiled the plan in February 2014.
According to the website ShopTobaccoFree.org, other retailers not selling tobacco products include Target, Wegmans, Whole Foods Market, The Fresh Market, Fresh & Easy, Trader Joe’s, Mariano’s and Aldi, among others. And this past February, regional supermarket operator Raley’s Co. announced that it would halt sales of cigarettes at its 128 Raley’s Bel Air Markets and Nob Hill Food stores in Northern California and Nevada.