CVS Health's Marketing Chief on Turning the Pharmacy Brand Into a Healthcare Player

And why ending tobacco sales was only the beginning

When CVS Health announced two years ago it will no longer sell or stock tobacco-related products, it was a game-changing move for the Woonsocket, R.I.-based brand, one that even received accolades from first lady Michelle Obama. But, according to Norman de Greve, CVS' svp and CMO, the step was part of a larger strategy that had been in the works for the last decade to shift the brand from being the proverbial "drugstore on the corner" to a "multifaceted healthcare company." In 2006, CVS acquired MinuteClinic, a walk-in clinic provider; the next year it merged with pharmacy benefits manager Caremark; and in 2013, it bought home infusion services company Coram. Earlier this month, CVS revealed its latest initiative to combat tobacco addiction with its "Be the First" campaign, a five-year, $50 million effort through education, advocacy, tobacco control and healthy behavior programming. Adweek's Kristina Monllos spoke with de Greve, who joined the brand last year from DigitasLBi, about CVS' brand shift, Obamacare and what's next.