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    To sell or not to sell tobacco: Who should decide?

     

    Fred MayerNorton said many NCPA members were surprised that CVS’ announcement received so much publicity “for something independent community pharmacies had already done previously to little fanfare.”

    However, Fred Mayer, RPh, MPH, Drug Topics’ longtime editorial advisor and CEO of Pharmacy Planning Service Inc., as well as a public health advocate who initiated the Great American Smokeout, praised Poloncarz’s proposal.

    “We should give him a Nobel prize,” Mayer said. “He could save millions of lives.”

    Mayer said independent pharmacists who are worried about losing cigarette and tobacco sales should instead get involved with getting reimbursed for counseling patients on smoking cessation.

    “You can now get $100 per patient in MTM reimbursement [for smoking cessation counseling],” Mayer said.

    Additionally, since it takes smokers an average of 13 times to quit, Mayer said many will return to the pharmacy more than once for counseling and supplies such as patches.

    Christine Blank
    Contributing Editor Christine Blank is a freelance writer based in Florida.

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