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Report: Walgreens, CVS to expand in-store clinic services


NEW YORK The Los Angeles Times reported on Friday that Walgreens’ Take Care Health Systems and CVS Caremark’s MinuteClinics are expanding beyond acute care to offer new specialized services. The article not only acknowledges the growing importance of retail-based clinics but also brings to light what has been previously reported by Drug Store News — the convenient care industry is in the midst of an evolution.

In an earlier interview with Drug Store News, executive director of the Convenient Care Association, Tine Hansen-Turton, predicted of the clinic industry, “I think you will see some diversity in some of the services and they may be community specific and it may be company specific.”

That time has come.

The Los Angeles Times reports that, in addition to treating acute ailments, some retail clinic operators are training nurse practitioners to do specialized injections for such chronic conditions as osteoporosis and asthma. In addition, they are offering treatments for advanced skin conditions that include removal of warts and skin tags or closing minor wounds. Care for minor “sprains and strains” also is being offered at some retailers, and pilot projects are underway for breathing treatments and special infusions of drugs derived from biotechnology.

The article also states that this spring CVS Caremark’s MinuteClinic had added treatments for sprains, acne, wound care, motion sickness and testing for tuberculosis. In Columbus, Ohio, MinuteClinics are piloting a program to provide asthma patients with nebulizer breathing treatments.

Meanwhile, in Tampa and Orlando, Fla., Walgreens’ Take Care Health Systems has launched a pilot program to provide injections for patients with asthma and osteoporosis.

There has already been evidence that the convenient care industry is branching out beyond acute care. One such example is Lindora Health Clinic, which provides non-emergency health care services and weight management programs. Lindora is partnered with Rite Aid to operate in-store clinics that focus on weight loss and wellness services in the Southern California area.

In addition, several clinic operators are offering, namely in select markets, travel medicines.

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