CVS & Walgreens Are Competing To Be The "Healthiest" Drugstore

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You may not know it, but CVS and Walgreens are competing not only for your money, but for your love.

According to Fast Company, each drugstore is looking to become the "healthiest" and they're doing this by expanding health initiatives.

In 2014, CVS announced its stores would be tobacco-free and that it would offer smoking-cessation programs to all of its customers. The following year, the drugstore chain revealed that the initiative actually helped their business.

Now, CVS said it would expand its anti-smoking mission with "a new $50 million, five-year education and advocacy campaign."

Not to be outdone, its competitor, Walgreens, announced a "comprehensive plan" to deal with opioid abuse, which will include offering safe medication disposal kiosks where customers can bring "unwanted, unused, or expired prescriptions."

The chain also plans to make the life-saving drug naloxone available without a prescription in 35 states. Right now, the drug, which can help someone suffering from an overdose of a prescription painkiller or heroin, is available in New York, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Indiana, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.

While CVS has worked on making its stores more convenient by offering curbside pickup in some locations, not to mention taking over all of Target's pharmacies, Walgreens — who bought Rite Aid, the third largest drugstore in the U.S. — has expanded its online presence by launching a "new web-based mental-health-screening platform." This means Walgreens.com will now offer free screenings for depression, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other mental illnesses.

This one-upmanship between CVS and Walgreens has been beneficial to both stores' bottom lines, though it does help that the two chains make up 50% of the market. It's also been especially helpful to CVS' stock.

In April, Fortune found that CVS is the one closer to “firing on all cylinders" and is a better bet for those looking to invest.

But no matter which store has the better stock, it's clear: The CVS-Walgreens rivalry is making things better for customers.
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