Will your medications cost more when CVS takes over Target's pharmacies?


When CVS takes over Target's pharmacy business, there may be more to the change than just the swapping of neon signs.

Though the sale of the Minneapolis retailer's pharmacy wing is still awaiting final approval from federal regulators, some experts are warning customers that they may be paying more for their medications when CVS moves in, the Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal reports.

But what about Target's "Expect More. Pay Less" philosophy?

That's not a promise that CVS makes, as it's not in the same price-matching game that Target plays with its competitor – Wal-mart – analyst Howard Davidowitz told MPR News. "The prices can't be the same and they won't be the same," he added.

Additionally, pharmacy customers will no longer be able to use Target Pharmacy Rewards or their Target REDCard at the drug counter; however, it will be replaced by ExtraCare, CVS's guest loyalty program.

But as the Business Journal points out, ExtraCare doesn't provide the same five percent discount the REDCard does.

And while CVS has committed to offering Target's cash-paying customers low-cost generic prescription drugs, the company has not said whether it will offer the same inventory of drugs at the same prices, MPR writes.

The sale of its pharmacy operations was part of Target's streamlining and cost-saving strategy, which also saw its full retreat from Canada and the dismissal of about 1,700 corporate employees.

The drug business, as it turns out, was a money-loser for the bullseye, and the $1.9 billion sale promises a hefty cash infusion.

Additionally, Target expects extra foot traffic – and retail sales – from CVS customers entering the stores to fill their prescriptions.

Under the sale, which will likely be finalized by the end of the year, all Target pharmacies will be branded under the CVS name.

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