Pharmacies roll out the welcome mat for persons with mental illness as customers. Sadly, some pharmacies roll up that same welcome mat for persons with mental illness as potential employees.
Psychiatric medications are among the most widely prescribed and biggest-selling class of drugs in the U.S. In 2011, Americans spent $18.2 billion on antipsychotics to treat depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, $11.0 billion on antidepressants and $7.9 billion on treatment for ADHD, according to IMS Health, which tracks prescription-drug sales. These three categories of prescription drug sales accounted for approximately 11.6% of all prescription drug sales in the U.S. for 2011
Walgreens is the largest pharmacy chain in the United States, operating retail pharmacies in over 8,200 stores. During 2011, Walgreens pharmacists filled over 819 million prescriptions – one in five retail prescriptions in America. Walgreens revenue for 2011 was approximately $72.2 billion and prescription drug sales accounted for 65% of that revenue, or approximately $46.9 billion. Assuming 11.6% of Walgreens prescription drug sales were for antipsychotics, antidepressants and ADHD medications, prescription drugs for persons with mental illness accounted for approximately $5.44 billion of Walgreens prescription drug sales in 2011. This amount is two times Walgreens net earnings for that year.
Kroger is the fifth-largest pharmacy operator in the United States, operating retail pharmacies in over 1,948 stores. During 2011, Kroger pharmacists filled over 146 million prescriptions at a retail value of approximately $7.3 billion. Assuming 11.6% of Kroger prescription drug sales were for antipsychotics, antidepressants and ADHD medications, prescription drugs for persons with mental illness accounted for approximately $847 million of Kroger prescription drug sales in 2011, some two-thirds of the amount of Kroger’s operating profit for that year.
During 2012, CVS Caremark filled approximately 718 million prescriptions, or approximately 21% of the U.S. retail pharmacy market. CVS Caremark’s retail pharmacy and pharmacy services businesses accounted for 22.8% of nation’s total prescription revenues in 2012, according to the 2012-2013 Economic Report on Retail, Mail and Specialty Pharmacies.
As noted in the Challenges to Pre-Employment Assessments posting, n July 2011, CVS and the Rhode Island Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) entered into a voluntary settlement addressing the ACLU’s complaint challenging CVS’s use of a pre-hire questionnaire that the ACLU claimed could have a discriminatory impact on people with certain mental impairments or disorders. Pursuant to the settlement agreement, CVS agreed to permanently remove the questions at issue from its online application.
Why Shop Where You're Not Wanted?
Why Shop Where You're Not Wanted?
Persons who have their prescriptions filled at Walgreens and Kroger, their family members and other loved ones also shop at those companies for other products and services. Those persons, their family members and other loved ones provide a material percentage of the companies' overall revenue each year. How do they repay this customer loyalty? By utilizing an unlawful pre-employment assessment to screen out persons with mental illness from consideration for employment.
Why should persons with mental illness, their family members and other loved ones continue to shop at their stores? Good question.