Pharmacies compete for C&K customers
Written by Don Iler, Pilot staff writer   
November 12, 2013 08:45 pm

With Pharmacy Express and Chetco Pharmacy both closing in the Brookings area, many are apprehensive about what is going to happen to their prescriptions once the two pharmacies have their final day on Thursday. 

Unless other arrangements are made, prescriptions will be transferred to Rite Aid pharmacy on Friday. Ashley Flower, a spokesperson for Rite Aid, said the store will continue to offer its customers free delivery, something Chetco Pharmacy and Pharmacy Express provided for customers. 

In addition to Rite Aid delivering, Corner Drug in Gold Beach will begin a delivery service to the Brookings area beginning Nov. 15 as well. 

Tim Yantis, pharmacist at Corner Drug, owned Chetco Pharmacy until he sold it in 2011 to C&K Market. Yantis said wanted to make sure that people in Brookings still had a locally-owned pharmacy to which they could turn. 

“It’s a terrible situation for the community,” Yantis said. “I’m really surprised to see it happened.”

Yantis worked at Chetco Pharmacy beginning in 1980 and took over the store in 1997. He sold it in 2011 in order to concentrate on running Corner Drug in Gold Beach.

Corner Drug already delivers prescriptions throughout Gold Beach and north to Port Orford, which doesn’t have a pharmacy, and Yantis sees delivering to Brookings a good thing to do for the community. 

“We’ve had quite a few people call to want to start service,” Yantis said. “I have a different philosophy than chains.”

Bi-Mart and Fred Meyer are also accepting transfers from former Chetco Pharmacy and Pharmacy Express customers, although they will not be offering delivery services. 

When pharmacies close, their prescriptions are typically sent to another pharmacy which purchased the closing pharmacy’s records. Patients have the right to have their prescriptions transferred to whichever pharmacy they choose and do not have to obtain new prescriptions from their doctors. 

Brookings-based C&K Market announced on Oct. 21 that it was selling its 15 pharmacy properties. C&K operates 60 grocery stores in Oregon and California under the Shop Smart and Ray’s Food Place names. The company closed four grocery stores this year in Walterville, Crescent City, Smith River and Yreka, saying the stores were no longer profitable.