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Chains Seek To Acquire Independent Pharmacies, Citing Part D Environment

Executive Summary

Two of the leading nationwide chain drugstores - Rite Aid and Walgreens - have embarked on pharmacy acquisition campaigns in response to opportunities created by Medicare Part D

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Part D pushing pharmacies to close?

A survey of 507 community pharmacists revealed that about 33% have considered closing their businesses due to worsening cash flow situations under the Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit, the National Community Pharmacists Association says. Fifty-five percent have had to obtain outside loans or financing to supplement the pharmacy's cash flow because of slow reimbursement, the survey finds. Additionally, 89% of pharmacists say they are currently owed at least $20,000 from prescription drug plans, and 18% say they are owed at least $100,000. Rite Aid and Walgreens have embarked on a letter writing campaign encouraging independent pharmacies to sell their pharmacies rather than continue to face financial difficulties under Part D (1"The Pink Sheet" Aug. 21, 2006, p. 21)...

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