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CVS to take control of 6 ProMedica pharmacies, close 5

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    CVS has acquired 6 outpatients pharmacies from ProMedica, 5 of which will close.

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EDITORS NOTE: Based on incorrect information provided to The Blade, the number of employees affected by the sale of six ProMedica pharmacies to CVS was incorrect. It is 45.

ProMedica announced late Tuesday night that CVS has acquired six of its outpatient pharmacies, five of which will close. 

ProMedica did not disclose the purchase price. The acquisition did not include any of the 45 employees in the six retail pharmacies, though CVS is expected to hire some of the pharmacy counter employees. Some other employees will remain at ProMedica. 

“The retail pharmacy business has changed over the last couple decades and really has become the domain of giant companies like CVS, like Wal-Mart, like Walgreens, that are able to leverage their discounts, their technology,” Dr. Neeraj Kanwal, senior vice president of inpatient and retail pharmacy at ProMedica, said. “We found it very hard to compete against them. ... The business just isn’t performing well.”

In early November CVS will begin operating the pharmacy at 3316 Navarre Ave. in Oregon, according to a statement from the health system. 

“One day it will be ours, and the next day it will be CVS,” Dr. Kanwal said. “So that should be continuous. It’s our goal to have as smooth of a handoff as possible.”

The pharmacies to close are: 

  • ProMedica Pharmacy Counter, 2100 W. Central Ave., with patients transferred to the CVS at 4121 Monroe St.
  • ProMedica Pharmacy Counter, 5700 Monroe St., Sylvania, with patients transferred to the CVS at 5225 Monroe St.
  • Flower Hospital Outpatient Pharmacy, 5200 Harroun Rd., Sylvania, with patients transferred to the CVS at 7510 W. Sylvania Ave., Sylvania. 
  • ProMedica West Central Pharmacy, 2150 W. Central Ave., with patients transferred to the CVS at 4121 Monroe St.
  • The Pharmacy Counter, 1515 S. Byrne Rd. with patients transferred to the CVS at 2104 S. Byrne Rd., which is scheduled to open Oct. 29. 

ProMedica’s retail pharmacies endured a 16 percent drop in prescriptions filled since 2013. The pharmacies filled 450,000 prescriptions last year.

The sale will shift patient records from ProMedica’s pharmacy to a nearby CVS, so the nonprofit hospital system will advise patients to go use CVS.

“Patients always have choice,” Dr. Kanwal said. “But we encourage it because they’ll have their records.”

ProMedica will retain its home medical equipment and specialty pharmacy businesses, which includes its adherence pharmacy for high-risk patients.

“We’re selling the piece of the business that other competitors could do just as well,” Dr. Kanwal said. “They can do some things we cannot do,” such as offering longer hours.

It will also continue to own and operate the Toledo Hospital pharmacy. 

“We are keeping the Toledo Hospital lobby pharmacy open because it serves our patients who are being discharged,” Dr. Kanwal said. “We didn’t want to give that up because it serves so many people.”

Staff writer Lauren Lindstrom contributed to this report.

Contact Zack Lemon at zlemon@theblade.com419-724-6282, or on Twitter @zack_lemon.

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