Intermountain Healthcare shutters 25 retail pharmacies, redirects consumers to CVS

The front entrance of a CVS Pharmacy
Intermountain Healthcare's 25 retail pharmacies' prescriptions and inventories will be transferred to nearby CVS Pharmacy locations to ensure patients' access to their prescriptions won't be interrupted. (Eric Glenn/Shutterstock.com)

Intermountain Healthcare will be shutting down 25 retail pharmacies and handing off their prescriptions and inventories to CVS Pharmacy beginning in August, the companies announced this week.

Next month's closures target low-volume retail pharmacies in Utah, the Salt Lake City health system said.

Each pharmacy’s files will be “securely and confidentially” transferred to a nearby CVS Pharmacy location, and patients will receive a letter explaining the closures and how to ensure their access to medications is not interrupted.

“Every effort will be made to ensure patients and employees are well cared for during this transition,” Nannette Berensen, vice president and chief operating officer of Intermountain Shared Clinical Services, said in a statement.

The companies stressed that the closures do not affect Intermountain’s hospital inpatient pharmacies.

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The nonprofit system will also be continuing its other pharmacy and medication services, including medication management and medication assistance and financial support. Home delivery pharmacy, specialty pharmacy and the retail pharmacy out of its Primary Children’s Hospital will also continue to be supported.

Intermountain operates 25 hospitals, 225 clinics, a medical group and a health insurance company across Utah, Idaho and Nevada. The system said in the announcement that it will give employees affected by the closures an option to transition to other internal roles or to be considered for employment at one of CVS’ retail pharmacies.

In the announcement, leaders from both companies acknowledged that consumers are increasingly interested in retail pharmacies that can deliver additional services and convenient shopping options.

“CVS Pharmacy knows that these locations have been providing trusted pharmacy care for the Utah Community for years and we are excited to continue that tradition,” David Royster, region director for CVS Pharmacy, said in a statement. “We are looking forward to introducing our industry-leading products and services to these new patients and are committed to ensuring that their pharmacy needs are not only met but exceeded.”