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The Associated Press reports that chain drug stores are looking to expand their role from being a place where pharmacists count out pills to being a place where people obtain health care services and advice. In doing so, these chains hope to be able to charge for health care counseling that results in a more preventive approach.

Key to making this shift is a change in the law that will get insurance companies to cover such consultations. The federal government currently is in the process of evaluating how the final regulations should be changed to allow for greater health care participation by pharmacists.
KC's View:
Let’s forget the insurance aspect of this trend for a moment. It seems to us that this is an intelligent strategy on the part of the pharmacy community, and one that can be imitated by food retailers in a broader context. In a competitive marketplace, one of the great opportunities is for a retailer to be as resource to the consumer for products, information, support and advice…not just a source of product. That’s what these pharmacies are doing, and that’s what more food retailers ought to be doing.