On Thursday, March 17, 2022 we customers of The Prescription Shop Pharmacy began reaching out to Grice Connect asking about rumors that the pharmacy has closed. The pharmacy has indeed closed, The Prescription Shop sign has been removed from the building and the windows are papered up.

There is a sign in the window announcing that the pharmacy has closed and that all prescription records are available at Walgreens.

While we were on site at the pharmacy several customers stopped in to pick up prescriptions and were shocked they were closed. One customer said he had done business with the Prescription Shop for over four decades and couldn’t believe they had closed suddenly with no notice, even to long time customers like him.

At the time of this story the website and facebook page is still operating but makes no mention of the pharmacy being closed. These will probably be taken down soon. When you call the pharmacy you are automatically forwarded to Walgreens.

Over Four Decades Serving Our Community

The Prescription Shop was founded by former Statesboro Mayor Bill Hatcher in the early 70’s. The pharmacy operated for years on Grady Street adjacent to the former Bulloch Memorial Hospital. In 1985 the pharmacy was robbed and Hatcher was shot and severely wounded in the pharmacy. He recovered and worked in the pharmacy for two more years. He sold The Prescription Shop in 1987 to pharmacist Steve Gay. Gay later moved the pharmacy to its current location at the corner of Savannah Avenue and South Zetterower Avenue.

Regardless of how this has ended for The Prescription Shop Pharmacy, it is important to honor the rich history, wonderful memories and contributions to our community by the owner and dedicated employees of the pharmacy.

Pharmacy Sold to Walgreens

Last April, Walgreens purchased Medical Center Pharmacy also closed suddenly without any notice to the community or customers.

We reached out then to our contacts in the pharmacy industry to see if we could get clarification on the cloud of secrecy surrounding the closing of another landmark business like this. The expert, who has no specific knowledge of the sale of The Prescription Shop, explained that this is the new normal when a large chain pharmacy buys a local pharmacy.

In this case, his assumption is that Walgreens has purchased the pharmacy based on the signage explaining to customers that this is where their prescriptions are being sent. From past experience, large chains know that a large number of the current clients may leave the pharmacy before the sale is completed, if prior knowledge is received by the customers.

Typically the primary pharmacist is hired by the chain acquiring the local pharmacy. It is the hope of the chain, that many of the customers will simply follow the pharmacist to the new location. By making it a surprise, such as this, it is believed that clients will simply do what is easiest and move to the new pharmacy.

In a situation like this, it puts the owner of the local pharmacy and their staff in a very awkward situation. Most likely, they have all had to sign non-disclosure agreements as part of the condition of the sale in hopes of protecting the book of business which they are selling.

This is one more way, large conglomerate businesses have changed the way business is done, especially in a small community.

It is regretful that a business like this has to keep their customers in the dark. However, the owner has to balance what is the best personal financial decision at the time of a sale.

Certainly we wish owner Steve Gay and all of the dedicated and wonderful staff members of Prescription Shop Pharmacy the best of luck as they move on to the next chapter of their lives. Thank you all for your long, faithful and dedicated service to our community.

Customers do have a choice

Of course customers do have a choice. If you do not want to move to Walgreens there are many, wonderful locally owned pharmacies ready and willing to help you with your needs.

You do not have to go to Walgreens or even contact Walgreens to move your prescriptions to another pharmacy. If you choose to move your prescriptions to another pharmacy all you need to do is to contact your new pharmacy by phone, email or online to request a transfer. They will handle it completely for you.

Herschel DeWayne Grice is the founder of Grice Connect an online news and information company in Statesboro, Georgia. DeWayne has been active in the media for over three decades. He brings a unique insight...