Consumers Want More Health Services From Their Local Pharmacy: Poll

New research from CVS supports continued access to clinical care at retail level
Lynn Petrak, Progressive Grocer
CVS pharmacist
A new survey conducted by Morning Consult for CVS shows support for the expanded role of retail pharmacists.

As many grocers continue to broaden their pharmacy and health care services – a movement that started even before the pandemic amplified such expansions – the role of the retail pharmacist has also been elevated. A new survey from CVS Health and Morning Consult found that nearly two-thirds (61%) of adults would like to get a greater range of health services from their local pharmacy.

According to CVS’s "The Rx Report: A New Day in Retail Pharmacy," 74% of survey respondents said they trust their local pharmacist and pharmacy team and agree that pharmacists should provide health care services when primary care is unavailable. Growing interest in health care at retail is also reflected in the survey’s finding that a significant majority of 69% of consumers believe that pharmacy services should be covered by insurance.

“Throughout the pandemic, pharmacists and pharmacy technicians played a critical role in the nation's response by helping to ensure widespread access to testing and vaccination in local communities," remarked Prem Shah, PharmD, EVP at CVS Health, and president and chief pharmacy officer at CVS Pharmacy. "Consumers have become accustomed to receiving expanded care at their local pharmacies and it's imperative that lawmakers and regulators take action to ensure continued access to critical services." CVS, for its part, reported that it is leveraging enhanced training and digital tools to help its pharmacists do more patient-centered work. 

The new CVS report is the latest example of retailers' health care offerings. In September, CVS shared that it is acquiring value-based provider Signify Health as part of its health care strategy. And Walmart recently announced that is widening its health care access by partnering with UnitedHealth Group on a range of services. 

Over the summer, another poll conducted by Morning Consult for the National Association of Chain Drug Stores showed that most Americans support policies that allow pharmacists to provide more clinical care access, as approved by the COVID-19 public emergency declaration. A bi-partisan bill, H.R. 7213, is currently before Congress, supporting pharmacies’ ability to offer clinical services for COVID-19 and other ailments.

With its CVS Pharmacy subsidiary operating almost 10,000 locations nationwide, Woonsocket, R.I.-based CVS Health is No. 7 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America

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