New state laws have expanded the scope of practice for pharmacists, allowing consumers to access a longer list of health services at their local retail shop. Walmart, Walgreens Boots Alliance, and CVS Health are embracing the opportunities, aiming to boost their healthcare revenue from privately insured populations. According to a Bloomberg article, each of the retailers is rolling out everything from on-site symptom evaluation and testing to medication prescribing and treatment—all delivered by pharmacists—in 10 or more states.
Where it’s all coming from: The National Alliance of State Pharmacy Associations advocates for expanding the scope of practice for pharmacists and last year helped to shepherd 44 new state laws to do just that. As more retail pharmacies compete for low-acuity visits, the imperative for urgent care operators to expand their high-acuity services is clear.