CVS Health released The Rx Report: A New Day in Retail Pharmacy, highlighting the results of a CVS Health/Morning Consult survey, which identified strong consumer preference and demand for an expanded role of pharmacists. Released during American Pharmacists Month, the report examines the history and evolution of community pharmacy in America, as well as specific opportunities to expand pharmacists’ ability to provide access to affordable, high-quality health care. Built on lessons learned and the role pharmacy has played during the COVID-19 pandemic, this includes unlocking capacity for more pharmacy-based services that further align the role of the pharmacist with their clinical abilities.

“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,” said Prem Shah, PharmD, Executive Vice President, CVS Health and President and Chief Pharmacy Officer, 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.

Consumer sentiment underscores a clear opportunity for the industry, with key findings showing that respondents: 

  • Trust their local pharmacist/pharmacy team and agree pharmacists should provide health care services when primary care is unavailable (74%).
  • Would like to be able to get a greater range of health services from their local pharmacy (61%).
  • Believe pharmacist services should be covered by insurance like other provider services (69%).

“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. This will require innovative approaches that challenge long-standing ways of working and create important capacity for patient care and new pharmacist services,” Shah said.

The report also explores how technology helps enable pharmacists to do more purpose-driven, patient-centered work and create a better experience for patients. For example, digital tools can help to improve the pharmacy experience, in-store and online, creating more choice and convenience for patients, while ensuring more time and capacity for meaningful pharmacist interactions when and where they want it.

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