Community health center expands pharmacy service as CVS closes
By St. Clair Murraine
Outlook Staff Writer
A little more than a week after CVS announced it will close its Southside location, Bond Community Health Center is making its pharmacy available to fill the void.
The pharmacy at Bond is open immediately to help individual transfer their medication before CVS closes on March 16, Dr. Temple Robinson, CEO at Bond, said during a Tuesday afternoon press conference. While the pharmacy service will be available to anyone transferring their medication from CVS, Robinson said qualified uninsured patients could pay less for their medications.
“This is what we do here,” Robinson said. “We try to take care of everyone that we can reasonably care for.”
Robinson also announced that the health center will open a pharmacy at the intersection of Palmer Avenue and South Monroe. A drive-through will also be available at the new location, she said.
Meanwhile, the Bond pharmacy will be open Monday-Thursday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Friday hours are from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., while the pharmacy will be open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the first Saturday of each month.
Robinson said any of health center’s patients can use the pharmacy, but the uninsured that use Bond for their primary healthcare can get more assistance in the pharmacy.
“We have all kinds of secrets and tricks of the trade,” Robinson said. “We have patient’s assistance,” Robinson said. “We have someone hired here where that’s all they do; complete applications to get free medications for patients who are uninsured and cannot afford their medication.”
The CVS location that will close within a few weeks was the only full-service pharmacy since Walgreens left the area in 2017. The building at the intersection of Paul Russell Road and South Monroe opened 25 years ago as an Eckerd’s pharmacy before that company was purchased by CVS in 2004.
The pharmacy closure will be the third on the Southside in the last six years. Lake Ella Pharmacy, a much smaller store, was located in the Towne South Shopping Center on South Monroe.
County Commissioner Bill Proctor applauded the health center for expanding its pharmacy service, while questioning the exodus of pharmacies from the Southside.
“We find now that CVS, whatever the metrics, whatever the reason, however they measure, we don’t measure up,” said Proctor. “They have decided to go elsewhere with their store, but today you can tell those who are committed.”