The Fairhaven Pharmacy closed on Oct. 20, after 126 years in business.
Owner Rob Johansen is retiring after running the business for 45 years. He tried to sell the pharmacy, but the increasing cost of drugs and dealing with the companies that process prescription requests has made the business less viable over the years, he said.
Prices have increased in the last 18 months and some drugs now cost more than 100 times what they used to, Johansen said. Meanwhile, the amount the pharmacy gets per transaction has generally decreased.
Johansen and other independent pharmacy owners place orders with pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs)—third party administrators that process prescriptions for insurance companies and negotiate with both parties.
“Nowadays PBMs control everything,” Johansen said. “They set price and reimbursement, and reimbursement has been constantly going down for years.”
Local attorney Dean Brett owns the building, on the corner of Harris and 12th St. at 1115 Harris Ave.
Brett said he already has a new tenant lined up for the building, though he wouldn’t say who. Finding a business owner interested in the space, at one of the busiest intersections in Fairhaven, wasn’t hard, he said.
“It’s a great location. It’s an iconic building,” he said.
Brett expects after some remodeling the new tenant will open for business at the beginning of 2016.