In the wake of the much-publicized announcement by CVS-Caremark that it would stop selling tobacco products in CVS stores by this fall, pharmacy companies are continuing to reposition themselves as true health care companies, not just general retailers.

This month, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy announced that CVS has joined with competitors Walgreens, Kroger, Rite Aid and Safeway to endorse the Blue Button initiative, giving pharmacy customers an easy way to download and share their prescription records. The five companies also will work together "towards standardizing patient prescription information to fuel the growth of private-sector applications and services that can add value to this basic health information," according to the ONC announcement.

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