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Drugstore clinics expand care into chronic illness
Health » Although some doctors resist, Walgreen joins industry rivals in offering less-expensive service.

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A few years ago, CVS Caremark started offering lab tests and education for people who generally have already been diagnosed by a doctor with a chronic condition. Earlier this year, its clinics expanded into acne consultations, with the company advertising that service on its website under the slogan, "We treat it so you can beat it."

CEO Larry Merlo also told analysts in February his company is testing clinic programs that help customers quit smoking or manage their weight.

At a glance

Physician shortage

Some studies have predicted a shortfall of roughly 40,000 primary care doctors over the next several years.

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Rite Aid Corp., the nation’s third-largest drugstore chain, doesn’t offer chronic illness care at its small chain of clinics. But the company said last month it would start offering 10-minute online doctor consultations for $45 to store customers in several big cities.

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