Business & Finance

CVS Changes Name, Halts Tobacco Sales to Reflect Health-Focused Goals

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WOONSOCKET, R.I. — “Our name has changed, but our purpose remains the same: helping people on their path to better health,” reads a quote posted on the CVS website.

CVS Caremark Corporation (CVS) announced Wednesday that it is changing its corporate name to CVS Health to reflect its broader health care commitment and its expertise in driving the innovations needed to shape the future of health. 

“For our patients and customers, health is everything and CVS Health is changing the way health care is delivered to increase access, lower costs and improve quality,” announced Larry J. Merlo, President and CEO, CVS Health.  “As a pharmacy innovation company at the forefront of a changing health care landscape, we are delivering breakthrough products and services, from advising on prescriptions to helping manage chronic and specialty conditions.”

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This health declaration and name change has come several months after CVS announced in February that it was going to stop selling tobacco products.  As part of the company’s renewed focus on health and wellness, a name change to solidify that purpose followed suit.

CVS Health is the overarching umbrella that includes the company’s retail business, which continues to be called CVS/pharmacy; its pharmacy benefit management business, which is known as CVS/caremark; its walk-in medical clinics, CVS/minuteclinic; and its growing specialty pharmacy services, CVS/specialty. With 7,700 retail pharmacies, 900 walk-in medical clinics, a leading pharmacy benefits manager with nearly 65 million plan members, and expanding specialty pharmacy services, CVS Health has expressed that their goal is to enable people, businesses and communities to manage health in more affordable, effective ways. 

CVS Health has a portfolio of programs to help people manage chronic disease and connects patients with pharmacists who help them stay on their prescribed medications. Their goal is also to provide clinical support, medication counseling, chronic disease monitoring and wellness programs for their members.

In February, the company announced that it would end the sale of cigarettes and tobacco products at its CVS/pharmacy stores, making CVS/pharmacy the first and only national pharmacy chain to take this step in support of the health and well-being of its patients and customers as a commitment to health. CVS stated that this would take effect as of Oct. 1 and have decided to make the switch nearly a month earlier to coincide with the rebranding.

“Along with the start of CVS Health, the sale of cigarettes and tobacco products at CVS/pharmacy ends today. By eliminating cigarettes and tobacco products from sale in our stores, we can make a difference in the health of all Americans,” Merlo declared.

“The sale of tobacco in a retail pharmacy conflicts with the purpose of the health care services delivered there,” added Troyen A. Brennan, M.D., M.P.H., Chief Medical Officer, CVS Health. “Even more important, there is evidence developing that indicates that removing tobacco products from retailers with pharmacies will lead to substantially lower rates of smoking with implications for reducing tobacco-related deaths.”

 “Today should mark a call to action by all retailers involved in health care,” said Matthew L. Myers, President, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. “We urge other retailers with pharmacies to follow the powerful example set by CVS/pharmacy and end tobacco sales.”

In addition to removing cigarettes and tobacco products for sale, CVS Health kicked off a comprehensive and uniquely personalized smoking cessation campaign to help millions of Americans to quit smoking. 

“Quitting smoking is one of the most important things you can do to improve your health and protect the health of your family, but quitting isn’t easy,” said Helena Foulkes, President, CVS/pharmacy. 

The CVS Health smoking cessation program is designed with input from national experts to help smokers quit and includes four critical components: an assessment of the smoker’s readiness to quit, education to give smokers the information and tools they need to quit, medication support to help curb the desire to use tobacco and coaching to help individuals stay motivated and prevent relapses.

“We learned following our announcement in February that nearly everyone has a tobacco story and was eager to tell it,” Foulkes continued. “So, today we are launching a social campaign – #OneGoodReason – in which we are inviting everyone to share their personal stories of how smoking and tobacco use has affected their lives.  Our hope is that through the sharing of these stories we can spark a movement that will make lasting improvements in health across our country.”

“Today, as CVS Health, we are tobacco-free, reinventing pharmacy and taking our place among leaders in the health care community,” Merlo concluded.

Find more information about how CVS Health is shaping the future of health at www.cvshealth.com.

 

 

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