WICOMICO CO., Md. - Local pharmacies say they're losing money on prescriptions and struggling to stay open.
Many have to compensate for the loss by providing specialty medications, health classes and even turning their pharmacy into a gift shop. Now, they're worried they could be losing even more business.
Wicomico County officials say they're in negotiations to change their pharmacy benefits for employees, possibly with CVS Caremark. No other details were provided to WMDT. It's enough to raise concern amongst pharmacists.
"I think it'd be a blow to the county. I think it'd be a blow to the local economy," Community Pharmacy owner Jeff Farace said.
Pemberton Pharmacy owner Craig Schury tells WMDT that depending on the county's agreement, they may lose out on another pool of employees. Wicomico County employs about 650 customers. Schury explains that if Caremark is chosen as the PBM, it could mean a higher co-pay for those choosing a local pharmacy instead.
"It creates a disincentive for people to come to their regular local pharmacy," said Schury.
Over at Apple Discount Drugs, John Sherr says it's a non-level playing field to start as they lose money with some of their prescriptions.
"When they try to side themselves with a national chain, you kind of feel like you've been punched in the gut," said Sherr. "We just have to show them the value that pharmacies have in Wicomico County."
"We have benefits that we give to employees that we will have to cutback," said Schury. "There won't be any choice and some pharmacies will close, I'm sure of that."