By Geoff Colvin, senior editor-at-large @FortuneMagazine
July 25, 2013 – First is making sure that our pharmacists are positioned to provide the additional prescriptions that 30 million to 40 million people who now have access are going to be able to get. Probably the most important thing a pharmacist can do is make sure that patients take their medications properly. Something like $300 billion to $350 billion in annual medical-related costs are due to nonadherence to prescription drugs. So we’re positioning our pharmacists to be ready for that.
Second, we’re adding nurse practitioners to many of our stores, co-locating them with our pharmacists. We have about 350 stores across the country now where we have a nurse practitioner positioned in an office next to the pharmacist that extends our services beyond pharmaceutical services to acute care, episodic care such as earaches and sore throats, that she can take care of. We’ve extended into primary care. So between our pharmacists extending their services and adding nurse practitioners, we think we can help with affordable care and provide greater access.