DUBLIN, Ohio, May 11, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death worldwide, killing more than 480,000 Americans and causing illnesses that cost more than $300 billion to treat each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In an effort to combat these trends, nearly all Medicine Shoppe and Medicap Pharmacy franchises have committed to not sell tobacco or tobacco-related products.
"Each of our Medicine Shoppe and Medicap Pharmacy franchisees pride themselves on being a community healthcare destination," said John Fiacco, vice president of Medicine Shoppe International, Inc. "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."
Fiacco says that the majority of Medicine Shoppe and Medicap Pharmacy locations have been tobacco-free for quite some time, because selling tobacco products simply does not align with the franchise system's goal of promoting healthy communities. However, when managed care organizations began penalizing patients who utilize pharmacies that sell tobacco products with increased co-pays, the franchise system and its franchisees implemented a formal policy prohibiting sales of tobacco and tobacco-related products.
Fiacco also said that many Medicine Shoppe and Medicap Pharmacy locations sell cessation aids such as nicotine replacement gum and nicotine patches, and many offer comprehensive smoking-cessation education programs. Others partner with local smoking-cessation programs to fill prescriptions for medications that help patients successfully quit smoking.
"At my first pharmacy job, I was at the front register selling cigarettes," said Roger Peltola, pharmacist and owner of the Medicine Shoppe in Hillsboro, Oregon. "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 that removing products that contribute to disease and addiction was a natural transition for Medicine Shoppe and Medicap Pharmacy franchisees.
"This nationwide initiative marks a continuation of our commitment to improving the health and wellness of the local communities we serve, and our dedication to providing a higher level of patient care," said Fiacco.
About Medicine Shoppe International
Medicine Shoppe International, Inc. (MSI), a Cardinal Health company, is distinguished for its commitment to providing expert, personalized health care. MSI is one of the largest franchisors of independent community pharmacies in the United States, with more than 500 Medicine Shoppe and Medicap Pharmacy locations across the United States, and more than 200 international pharmacies. Learn more at www.medicineshoppe.com.
About Cardinal Health
Headquartered in Dublin, Ohio, Cardinal Health, Inc. (NYSE: CAH) is a $91 billion health care services company that improves the cost-effectiveness of health care. As the business behind health care, Cardinal Health helps pharmacies, hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, clinical laboratories and physician offices focus on patient care while reducing costs, enhancing efficiency and improving quality. Cardinal Health is an essential link in the health care supply chain, providing pharmaceuticals and medical products and services to more than 100,000 locations each day and is also the industry-leading direct-to-home medical supplies distributor. The company is a leading manufacturer of medical and surgical products, including gloves, surgical apparel and fluid management products. In addition, the company operates the nation's largest network of radiopharmacies that dispense products to aid in the early diagnosis and treatment of disease. Ranked #22 on the Fortune 500, Cardinal Health employs 34,000 people worldwide. More information about the company may be found at www.cardinalhealth.com and @CardinalHealth on Twitter.
SOURCE Cardinal Health