Saturday, September 13, 2008

It's Easy to Be The Pharmacy America Trusts™ When You Talk Out Of Both Sides Of Your Mouth.

From the public relations press-release snore wire:

Walgreens and Joslin Diabetes Center have formed an alliance to improve health outcomes for people with diabetes. Together, Walgreens and Joslin will develop and deliver awareness, wellness, prevention, and education programs nationally to reach the estimated 21 million Americans with diabetes and the additional 54 million Americans at risk for the disease.

You know what else Walgreens is gonna do? Make sure every diabetic in the city of San Francisco can get every last cigarette they want.

Drug store chain Walgreen Co. has sued the city of San Francisco over a law that will stop it from selling cigarettes and other tobacco.

San Francisco recently passed a law that will ban sales of tobacco at pharmacies. Walgreen (NYSE: WAG), based in Deerfield, Ill., says the law unfairly singles it out while other stores that aren’t pharmacies or which also sell groceries will still be able to sell cigarettes.

Awwwwww.......poor widdle Walgreens just can't figure out why they're being singled out. You know, maybe it has something to do with what they're trying to say about themselves in that press release, or this one:

The Walgreens Take Care Health Tour is on a 300-city, 12-month nationwide health screening tour that features 10 customized traveling education and health-screening vehicles. The program will travel more than 240,000 miles to offer six free screenings:

Total Cholesterol Levels
Blood Pressure
Bone Density
Glucose Levels
Waist Circumference
Body Mass Index
These services are worth more than $115 in value and no appointment is necessary.

The tour aims to bring free screening services and better health awareness to local communities throughout the United States and Puerto Rico.

So when it comes to the PR wire, Walgreens, you're more than happy to try to single yourself out as something different from the 7-11. But when a city actually expects you to act like you're something other than a Hapu's House of Jerky with drugs in the back, well, that's just not fair.

Wait. I forgot the main difference between a Walgreens and Hapu's House of Jerky. The Drive-through. And how professional that is. 

Let's be clear here. Walgreens hasn't just made a decision to sell cigarettes in their stores. They are actively fighting for the right to do so. Hiring lawyers and spending money and going to court for the right to sell cancer, emphysema, heart disease and stinky breath to the people who come through their doors.

“The incomparable reach of Walgreens and its deep commitment to the health of its customers make it our ideal alliance partner as Joslin strives to deliver our model of patient empowerment and the aggressive identification and prevention of complications across the country.”

"Not to mention all the cigarettes all those patients can possibly suck down" Joslin should have added. I think it's significant the only mention I could find of an actual Walgreens commitment to the health of its customers was on the website of its PR stunt partner. Walgreens itself only implies that it cares. 

Which tells me if you're a Walgreens pharmacist, it's only implied that you are a health care professional. At least until I can buy a pack of Marlboros at my Nurse Practitioners office. 

Better health awareness my ass.


asd said...

Just want to point out that even though walgreens is the chain suing san fran, numerous other big chain pharmacies will benefit from the continued ability to "sell cancer, emphysema, heart disease and stinky breath" including the conspicuously absent CVS.

You can decide for yourself if a lawsuit about selling cigarettes or the actual selling of the cigarettes does less for the public good.

minja said...

"We believe in the goods we merchandise, in ourselves and in our ability to render satisfaction..."

Maybe Walgreens believes that ciggys are good for you. Otherwise they wouldn't merchandise 'em. Right? I mean why would they lie in the "Walgreens Creed" (ahahahahaha there's a Walgreens Creed ahahahahaha)

"We believe that we can get what we go after"

And they're going after the right to sell ciggys. Because they believe in ciggys. Because they must obey the Walgreens Creed. Amen. :)

Anonymous said...

And what;s reallllly ironic is how they are bombarding us with emails about how important it is in these tough economic times to stay under budget. They keep cutting tech they can pay their lawyers to be able to sell cigarettes to insure that we'll continue to have patients who will have to wait longer for their prescriptions!!

Anne said...

At the Walgreens near my old home in KC, you could also buy crack in the parking lot...but at least corporate headquarters wasn't suing for it to continue...also, I doubt Mickey "Li'l Bit" the drugrunner was working for The Pharmacy that Cares. Although I guess this is one way to keep your Pulmicort and albuterol sales up...

Amanda said...

...And Drugmonkey clearly works for CVS... :p

kris old jaded nurse said...

without the ciggies you'd probably have reduced substantially the need for drug therapy which in turn would reduce walgreen's profit. if truly the corporate goal was health we'd all be out of jobs. provide the cigarettes and ensure a steady source of revenue. drug monkey it's just so obvious.

Anonymous said...

so you sell the ciggies then screen everybody for health issues that will arise from use of ciggies find abnormal and unhealthy results which will send people to their docotors who will prescribe medications to offset the ciggie damage which the public will bring back to walgreen's to be filled. drug monkey can't you not appreciate the sheer brilliance of this marketing???

a smoking c.c. said...

can we all please stop calling them "ciggys" for christ's sake?!?!?

you all single-handedly just made the habit that less cooler.

ugh... now where's my lighter?

Ren said...

Still better than Shoppers Drug Mart here in Canada that was completely owned by a tobacco company until 2000.

It was always fun reading the wording on their "stop smoking" pamphlets as they tried to talk up the positives of quitting while never actually addressing what you are supposed to be quitting and why. Good times.

Anonymous said...

Of course, the vodka sales in the alcoholic beverages aisle could go the same way, but not necessarily the red, red wine... nor medicinal brandy.

ThatDeborahGirl said...

Cigarette fight? - Bad.

Drive-thru? - Good.

My mother, god bless her has multiple sclerosis. She insists on walking as much as she can for as long as she can. She's a retired school teacher and still manages to do home instruction for 1 or 2 students every week.

And sometimes on her way home, she has to stop by Walgreens to pick up a prescription. Having already expended so much of her preciously budgeted energy, it is empowering for her to be able to run her own errand by pulling up to the drive-thru. She get the service she needs and it's one less thing she has to ask someone to do for her or simply forgo when she's already given up so much because of MS Fatigue.

Also, as a mom, I love the Walgreens Drive-Thru because after a sick-child visit to the doctor, the last thing you want to do is drag the sick child through a store and wait on a prescription when you can simply go to the drive-thru.

Cigarette fight? Bad.
Drive thru? Good.

one-angry-tech said...

I clearly work CVS too.. actually, I do. But to throw them a friggin bone, at least they dont sell liqour.. which does not help me and drugmonkey when we need our scotch..

and yes, Drive Thru is wonderful.. 'cept when you are understaffed and patients in the store wait longer because instead of the sick children or people who have trouble walking using it, we have people who are lazy assholes.