After 53 years, Loye’s Pharmacy is closing its prescription service.
The last day for the pharmacy portion of Loye’s Pharmacy and Gifts was Tuesday, and it is heartbreaking for the Jones family, Greg Jones and Mitzi Madden said.
“Our customers understand what it entails, and our customers in the medical field understand,” Madden said. “It’s hard to swallow. It’s devastating. It’s hard to put into words, because we’ve been here for so long. It just breaks my heart.”
The pharmacy was bought out by CVS Pharmacy and Jones and his relief pharmacist Ellen Ardoin and his pharmacy tech, Kay Scroggins, will follow him to CVS. One clerk will go with them, and the remaining ones will stay with Loye’s Gifts.
The phone was forwarded to CVS Wednesday morning, so customers can still call the original number and get their prescriptions filled, Madden said. The prescription numbers on all medications will remain the same until they are rolled over into the CVS system.
“I told them (CVS) that our customers are like family and we expect them to be taken care of,” she said. “I know with them going over there, Greg will know our customer base really well.”
Madden says since the implementation of Obamacare and the rising costs of drugs, they can no longer afford to keep the pharmacy open.
“Everybody has to be on insurance,” she said. “The insurance companies don’t have to pay us if they don’t want to. According to law, they used to pay within the 15 or 30 days in which it’s filled. That’s not so anymore. It’s just a vicious cycle. We’re just losing at both ends, and I hate it.”
Jones explained the insurance companies are dictating what percentages they will pay for a prescription.
“The other day, I filled an $1,800 order on prescriptions and I made 20 cents,” he said. “You really don’t have any control over the cost of your goods, except for shopping around, and your reimbursements are locked in according to the contracts.”
He says he’s sad to be closing the pharmacy, because he’s enjoyed the customer service they’ve offered. He’s been able to help people get their prescriptions filled late at night if they are coming out of the emergency room, and he says at times, he’s filled prescriptions on Christmas Day.
The gift shop will remain at the 814 Homer Rd. location but will close for roughly a week for renovations. Madden says they will offer the same quality the store has always offered, and the baby and bridal registries will remain. Fax and shipping services will also still be available.
In the future, Madden says she plans to add some things and specialties that will make the store unique.
A. Loye Jones opened Loye’s Pharmacy just down the road in May 1963 and retired from its current location in 2003. The bridal and baby registries were added in 2004.
The current location was opened in 1977, and Jones began working as a pharmacist for his father in 1980.
“I worked as a floor sweeper in the late 60s and early 70s,” he said. “I had to sweep the floors every day and mop once a week. Once I got my driver’s license, I got to be the delivery boy. He always made you work for your allowance. He never gave you anything; you had to work for it.”
He says he will give his best to CVS just as he’s done for all his customers over the years.
“I was raised working for the public in my grandfather’s grocery store and in my father’s drug store,” he said. “I only know of one way to work, and that’s to please the customer, and that’s the way I’ll continue to work, no matter where I am.”