SIDNEY — Hometown Pharmacy, formerly Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy, has closed its doors at 130 W. Russell Road. The pharmacy, owned and operated by Bob Curlis, has been in operation for 22 years. Two of those years have been privately owned and operated by Curlis. The first 20 years were as a Medicine Shoppe franchise.
“Every 20 years with Medicine Shoppe you have to sign a contract as a franchisee with them. After that time, I just didn’t sign the contract. We remodeled and changed the name to Sidney Hometown Pharmacy. Pretty much everybody knew us, not by the name but by who we were. That is, the clientele and the community knew who we were,” said Curlis.
“The business has been acquired by CVS Pharmacies, and the files are to be transferred to the Sidney CVS at 324 Fourth Ave. on May 22. Anyone wanting to choose a different pharmacy can call the local CVS, and they will help them with that. Anyone choosing to stay on with CVS will have a seamless transition. They don’t have to do anything,” said Amy Langtot, CVS representative.
In a posting on Facebook, a customer of Hometown Pharmacy said they received a letter that states May 21 will be the last day of operation for the local pharmacy.
Curlis will continue to serve the area as pharmacist at CVS. Two of the pharmacy technologists who were employed by Curlis will follow him to CVS.
“Bob will be coming to work with CVS, as well as some of his store team members who are currently employed by Sidney Hometown Pharmacy,” confirmed Langtot.
Curlis earned his degree the University of Toledo College of Pharmacy in 1992. Curlis was first employed as a pharmacist by the former Super Rx Pharmacy in Sidney.
“It’s been an honor and I feel very blessed that I was able to have a store and that there are people who trust me enough to be their pharmacist. People are trusting you with, other than their own children, the most important thing about them which is their health. When someone entrusts you with that, it’s not something you take lightly. Some of these people I’ve had a relationship with for 26 years, since I started at Super Rx in Sidney,” said Curlis.
The decision to close Hometown Pharmacy is a matter of several events lining up.
“After 22 years, the industry had changed. It just made it increasingly more difficult for an independent operation to keep up with all the regulations and the guidelines. It was getting to the point where it was kind of exhausting. CVS had made me a good offer for my patient profiles and offered me employment with them here, so I thought that would be a good way for me to still be able to serve my patients as a pharmacist. It’s good for CVS that way because they get a familiar face for those customers that will be transferring over there. Hopefully it will be a win-win-win,” said Curlis.
Knowing that the move may be hard for some of his patients, Curlis sees the acquisition as a way to make the move less challenging.
“I know there are probably some patients who are upset because change is difficult. I know. I’m in the midst of it, but I think it will, in the long run, be better for everyone involved just because it was going to be this or possibly just closing the doors in a few years. This was a way to avoid that,” said Curlis.
The move is seen by Curlis as a new chapter in his life. It will allow him to focus more on his patients and less on bureaucracy.
“This allows me to still work as a pharmacist, which I really enjoy and not have to worry about the contract end and not have to deal with the regulatory red tape. I’m kind of looking forward to that,” said Curlis, “Hopefully it will help people to see familiar faces and to know we’re still taking care of them,”
Having become a fixture in the community, Curlis looks forward to continuing to serve his clientele and to developing relationships with new patients at CVS.
“I’m very appreciative of everybody in the Shelby County community and for all the support and trust they’ve given me. I plan to continue to earn that even if in a different location,” said Curlis.
The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.