Intermountain to close 25 retail pharmacies, shift patients to CVS

Intermountain Healthcare plans to close most of its retail pharmacies next month, shifting most of its inventory and prescriptions to CVS Pharmacy. The Salt Lake City-based health system announced last week that it will close all but one of its 26 retail pharmacies, citing low usage.

It will keep one retail pharmacy open at Primary Children’s Hospital. The change will not affect Intermountain’s hospital pharmacies, and it will continue to offer home delivery and specialty pharmacy services.

About 250 employees will be affected by the change, according to Intermountain’s media relations director, Daron Cowley. They will have the option to transition to other roles at Intermountain, and will also be considered for positions at local CVS Pharmacy locations, he wrote in an email.

Each location’s pharmacy files will be shifted to a nearby retail pharmacy. Patients will receive a letter explaining the pharmacy closure, prescription transfer process and information about who to contact for questions, according to Intermountain.

“Every effort will be made to ensure patients and employees are well cared for during this transition,” Intermountain’s COO of Shared Clinical Services, Nannette Berensen, said in a news release.

It’s a symptom of the broader consolidation among retail pharmacy chains. CVS remains the largest, with more than 9,900 locations. It and competitor Walgreens expect to see a boost in customers, in part as a result of the pandemic. As people went into their stores to get vaccinated, some of them moved their prescriptions.

Photo credit: CVS Health