People welcome bigger Rx role

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NEW YORK — As the nation’s two largest retail pharmacy chains invest to expand their capabilities in primary care, a new survey suggests that these initiatives are being welcomed by consumers.

CVS Health has released “The Rx Report: A New Day in Retail Pharmacy,” highlighting the results of a CVS Health/Morning Consult survey that identified consumer preference for an expanded role of pharmacists.

Nearly three-quarters of respondents say they trust their local pharmacist/pharmacy team and agree pharmacists should provide health care services when primary care is unavailable. More than six in 10 would like to be able to get a wider range of health services from their pharmacy.

The report comes as CVS Health is investing to enhance its connection to customers and enable providers to more thoroughly address health care needs.

“To continue evolving the role of the pharmacist and the industry, we must first make retail pharmacy a better and preferred place to stay and grow a career,” says Prem Shah, executive vice president at CVS Health and president and chief pharmacy officer of CVS Pharmacy. “This will require innovative approaches that challenge long-standing ways of working and create important capacity for patient care and new pharmacist services.”

Enabling pharmacists to practice at their top of their license is also a priority at Walgreens, which last month announced it was eliminating task-based metrics for pharmacy staff as part of performance reviews.

Moving forward, pharmacy teams will be evaluated solely on the behaviors that best support patient care and enhance the patient experience, in line with the company’s core values, Walgreens says. The change in approach to talent management also comes as the company says it is laying the groundwork for new areas of pharmacist care, such as testing and treating routine illnesses.

“We’re proud to take a strong position in the industry with this measure, one we are taking due to feedback from our pharmacy team members and also as part of our commitment to pharmacy quality and patient care,” says Holly May, executive vice president and global chief human resources officer at Walgreens Boots Alliance. “We’ve continued to make investments to elevate the role of our pharmacists and to foster an environment that enables them to best care for our patients and customers.”


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