Because smoking is the leading cause of preventable death and illness worldwide, most Medicine Shoppe and Medicap Pharmacy stores have pulled all tobacco and tobacco-related products from their shelves.
"Each of our Medicine Shoppe and Medicap Pharmacy franchisees pride themselves on being a community health care destination," John Fiacco, vice president of Medicine Shoppe International Inc., said. "As retailers, we believe our franchisees can play a significant role in limiting access to tobacco and tobacco-related products – and in preventing the diseases and health problems those products can cause."
Most of the stores have been tobacco-free for some time, Fiacco said. Company officials said the decision was made because selling these products was not in tandem with the company's commitment to promoting healthy communities. Additionally, some managed care organizations penalize patients who use pharmacies that sell tobacco products with increased co-pays.
"At my first pharmacy job, I was at the front register selling cigarettes," Roger Peltola, pharmacist and owner of the Medicine Shoppe in Hillsboro, Oregon, said. "It just didn't make sense to me that pharmacists were treating the diseases caused by the tobacco products they sold. I've never sold tobacco products in my store, and am proud of my fellow retail independent pharmacies for finding healthy ways to drive revenue in their stores and promote wellness in their communities."
Fiacco said the nationwide initiative marks a continuation of commitment to improving the health and wellness of the local communities they serve, and their dedication to providing a higher level of patient care.