Pharmacy is a vital business for Target Corp. and one that continues to grow at a healthy rate, says senior vice president of health and beauty Jose Barra.

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Target grows pharmacy business

August 30th, 2012

MINNEAPOLIS – Pharmacy is a vital business for Target Corp. and one that continues to grow at a healthy rate, says senior vice president of health and beauty Jose Barra.

The discount store chain has prescription counters in nearly all of its stores, and for five years in a row J.D. Power and Associates has recognized Target pharmacies for delivering outstanding customer satisfaction.

As people begin to take more control over their health care, pharmacists have emerged as a valuable, trusted and underutilized resource, notes Barra.

“Target pharmacists are on hand, by design, to help guests find the healthy solutions that meet their needs,” he says. “They are trusted allies for our guests, from filling their prescriptions to dispensing advice on everything from smoking cessation to nutrition to cough and cold.”

Pharmacists can also administer vaccines, such as the flu shot, with no appointment necessary. Customers appreciate the convenience of pharmacist-administered flu vaccines, according to Barra. This year the chain is offering various options for the flu vaccine, including a new intradermal needle — which is 90% smaller than the traditional flu shot needle — and a high-dose vaccine for customers 65 and older, as well as the traditional flu shot vaccine.

Earlier this month, Target unveiled results from an online poll finding that more than half of U.S. adults don't plan to get flu shots, with about a quarter of those people citing fear of needles as the reason. Of the nearly 2,200 adult Americans surveyed by Harris Interactive, 60% would skip getting vaccinated against the flu, and 23% of those adults would skip a flu immunization because they don't like needles.

Target began providing flu vaccinations on a walk-in basis starting Aug. 19 at its 1,636 pharmacy locations nationwide.

In selected markets, Target also offers medication therapy management. Through the program, a specially trained pharmacist works with a customer to provide a comprehensive medication review to identify opportunities to improve outcomes and ­adherence.

Specialty pharmacy is available in selected stores, with plans to extend it to all Target pharmacies this fall.

“We offer guests the services of a traditional specialty pharmacy in a convenient retail setting, allowing guests to maintain their community pharmacist relationship by providing a holistic approach to all the medications the guest is taking,” says Barra. “Guests receive support for benefit and payment programs, disease state management, specific side effect counseling and also have access to clinical ­pharmacists.”

Target pharmacists also share their time and talent to build healthy communities and help customers and employees reach their health and well-being goals.

The discounter’s commitment to helping customers make healthier choices spans its business, from Clear Rx prescription packaging to an ever-expanding fresh food assortment.

“Target stores are a one-stop shop for healthy lifestyles — guests can talk to a pharmacist or get a flu shot, shop for workout apparel and exercise equipment, and stock up on vitamins and fresh food — all in one store,” Barra comments. “For example, our Archer Farms brand was the first national proprietary food brand to eliminate added trans fats from its entire product portfolio.”

“Target cares about health and well-being because it’s good for our communities, it’s good for our team members and guests, and it’s good for business,” he adds. “Target partners with key organizations to leverage expertise and improve the health of guests, team members and their families.”

Partners include the Alliance to Make U.S. Healthiest, National Business Group on Health, American Cancer Society, National Skin Cancer Foundation, Gallup Corp., the American Red Cross and United Way.

In addition, Target continues to grow its retail health clinic operation. This summer, Target Clinics were opened in two new states as part of a plan to add 10 more clinic locations by the fall. By the end of October, there will be 54 Target Clinics in six states, according to the company.