Don’t You Want To Live

Apparently, the Walgreen‘s CEO told the WSJ that not only is this a tough year, but they are taking a tough love approach with their patients.  In their blog earlier today, they said that Jeffrey Rein said “Walgreen pharmacists try to persuade patients to take their pills by asking them whether they want to be alive to see their children grow up.”

As they talk about, there have been several studies showing that patients are skipping pills and doing other things to stretch their prescriptions.  But based on what I saw in the Lehman Brothers research yesterday about Walgreens, I wouldn’t have thought things were that desparate.  They reported August same-store stales of 3% which is low compared to their historical results but still positive in this economy.

Interestingly, the report commented that they were increasing promotional activity which would negatively impact front end margins while CVS had recently said that it’s promotional spending (as a percentage of sales) was lower.

[In full disclosure, I do not own any of these stocks as individual stocks.  They may be held in mutual funds that I own.]

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