Drug overdoses have become the leading cause of accidental death in the United States, with 47,055 people dying in 2014 as a result of lethal drug overdoses — 18,893 of which were related to prescription pain relievers. One of the critical first lines of defense, the drug naloxone can reverse the effects of an overdose. But until recently it could only be accessed by prescription.
CVS Health rocked the industry in 2014 when it removed cigarettes and tobacco from its pharmacy shelves in an effort to promote health and reduce chronic illnesses associated with tobacco-use. Now, the retailer is taking yet another stance against tobacco-use with a hefty $50 million initiative to help deliver the nation’s first tobacco-free generation.
The ExtraCare loyalty program has grown to become CVS Health’s crown jewel. In 2015, the program — now in its 15th year — helped drive nearly $4 billion in savings for its roughly 70 million active cardholders. More important, it has emerged as the key engine driving CVS Health’s personalization efforts — a critical component of the company’s five-pillar strategy to reenergize its front-end business.
This isn’t your parents’ private-label business any more. To be sure, the rules of the store brand game have changed over the years — price matters, but it certainly isn’t the only factor driving the growing consumer interest in private label that exists today. CVS has upped its game in private label over the last several years, with store brand penetration up from about 17% in 2010 to more than 22% today.
In the slightly less than one year since CVS Health acquired all of Target’s 1,669 pharmacies and 79 retail clinics, the company has completed the process of turning them into CVS Pharmacy and MinuteClinic locations. As ambitious as those numbers may sound, now comes the even tougher job — making patients in those stores aware of the health services they can now access at their local CVS Pharmacy in Target.
Digital engagement is an integral part of CVS Health’s growth strategy, and for good reason. The digital customer at CVS spends 4.5 times more and engages with the CVS brand six times more than non-digital customers do.
Two years ago, CVS Pharmacy made the bold decision to walk away from tobacco. It was the right move for a lot of reasons, but the fact remained: There was a $2 billion sales hole that needed to be plugged.
The drug store industry said goodbye to two icons of the business in September. Charles R. “Cork” Walgreen III, 80, former president, CEO, chairman of the board and chairman emeritus of the company that bears his family’s name, and David Bloom, 76, the former, long-time CEO of Shoppers Drug Mart, passed away last month.