Traditionally, the drugstore was the place to go to treat a physical ailment; the place to seek out prescriptions to combat an infection, ibuprofen to soothe a headache, or bandages to protect a cut. But now, taking care of oneself involves more than just reacting to a physical problem when it arises—it means anticipating and maintaining both physical and mental wellbeing. In the “Well Economy” report, released in 2017, JWT Intelligence found that, while 77% of respondents associate health with physical condition, nearly as many (75%) say that when they think about health, they think about mental health. What’s more, only 17% of consumers seek out prescription medication when they feel ill.
This broad-based, holistic view of health and the resulting behavioral shifts risk leaving the pharmacies of yore in the dust. “There’s definitely a broken experience in the pharmacy of large chains,” says Craig Elbert, cofounder of direct-to-consumer prescription company Care/of. To combat this and to incorporate the widening definition of wellness, drugstores are expanding their offerings in an effort to become enjoyable destinations for complete wellbeing.