October 30, 2017

Flu season is upon us, and drug stores are pushing the vaccine to make sure their supply gets to patients before it expires. 

Associate Professor of Health Services Administration Dylan Roby tells WBHM that in recent years chain stores have been getting better at convincing people to get vaccinated.

“CVS and Walgreens both posted year-over-year, same-store increases, and they chalked it up to enhanced marketing of flu shots. If you’re seeing it happening, generally they’re at least breaking even if not making money off of it,” Dr. Roby said.

Unless covered by insurance, the shots typically cost consumers between $20 and $35 per dose. But there’s yet another financial reason pharmacy chains sell the vaccines: to get people into the store.

“People will come in for their flu shot and add on other services,” says Dr. Roby. “There’s probably this mix of they can make money, and they also might get revenue from these add-on products that people are buying.”


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Dylan H. Roby
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MPH and MHA ProgramsPhD, Health Services