Longtime Albany pharmacy will close its doors - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Longtime Albany pharmacy will close its doors

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By Cade Fowler - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) – Filling prescriptions is something David Hays has done for 33 years. But after spending 25 of those years here in Albany, his home town pharmacies will soon close shop.

"It's not what I wanted to do, but it's going to be best for my patients and my employees and I'll survive," says Hays.

Survival was something the industry once offered him. He maintained pharmacies on Oglethorpe Blvd. and Gillionville Road and found a strong patient base. He even crafted a niche in pharmaceutical compounding.

In terms of customers, Hays says his pharmacy is strong. But now he finds it difficult even to pay the light bill.

"My gross had dropped over the past 3-5 years from 40-45% down to 15-18% due to the reimbursement issues form the Pharmacy Benefit Management companies," said Hays.

Hays says the lack of reimbursements along with mail order prescriptions combined to cripple his business.

"I've lost nearly double my volume over the last couple of years due to mail order. That's hard to fathom. I would be a lot larger than I am now if it had not been for mail order and the illegal tactics that mail order is using that government isn't sanctioning because of non regulation," says Hays.

Several health-insurance plans require recipients to receive their meds through mail order and find it to be cost effective and convenient. Hays says it hurts hometown pharmacies and big box chains.

Walgreens bought Hays Pharmacy on Oglethorpe and patients will be transferred to one of their Albany locations. He says based on the current situation, it was an option he couldn't turn down.

"I've lost about half of my net worth getting to this point and struggling with this issue. But I'm trying to make sure my patients and my employees are primarily taken care of.

Hays says his customer base will soon receive information informing them of the move. He says their transition to Walgreens will take place later this month.

Employees at both locations will have the option to go to work for Walgreens.

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