GATTI PHARMACY SET TO CLOSE JUNE 29
Gatti Pharmacy, located in Downtown Indiana at 1024 Philadelphia Street, will close its doors Monday, June 29 after nearly 90 years in business.
The prescription files of “The Know You By Name Pharmacy” will be transferred to Rite Aid at 375 Philadelphia Street effective Tuesday, June 30.
Many patients patronized Gatti for over 50 years, and the pharmacy has taken care of a wide variety of the population of Indiana County, offering personalized services such as free, next-day delivery and synchronizing medications for easy coordination. Rite Aid has committed to continue several of Gatti’s services for patients.
“It was a really difficult decision,” Stephanie Smith Cooney, Gatti Pharmacy owner, said. “We are NOT going out of business because of a lack of support, innovation, caring, or any of the normal things that help a business thrive. Rather, the practices of the pharmacy benefit managers (PBM’s), companies that process prescription benefits on behalf of insurance companies, make it difficult for independent pharmacies to stay in business.”
Smith Cooney, who is active in the Pennsylvania Pharmacists Care Network and Pennsylvania Pharmacists Association in a variety of capacities, continued on to say that due to the brokenness of the pharmacy payment system, the facility continuously lost money on a majority of prescriptions dispensed.
“Unfortunately, because of the practices of these middlemen-pharmacy benefit managers, we have had no control over the rates that we’ve been reimbursed for prescriptions or the fees they charge. We’ve been providing increasingly higher levels of service at lower rates for years, hoping and advocating for change to our payment model. Sadly, change did not arrive in time to save Gatti Pharmacy or other independent pharmacies that have been forced to close recently.”
These practices caused Gatti Pharmacy to lose money on roughly 80% of all the prescriptions they dispensed, despite an increase in sales in 2019 and 2020, making it impossible to cover their overhead.
Smith Cooney stressed that the closing of the pharmacy has nothing to do with COVID-19, noting that the issue with PBM’s has been going on for years and is worsening over time, with their PBM fees doubling in 2019 alone.
“I am so grateful for the support of our patients and customers as well as the Indiana Community at large. We have enjoyed taking care of you and it has been a great privilege to be your pharmacy,” Smith Cooney said.
Existing patients are invited to contact Gatti Pharmacy prior to June 30 with any questions or concerns. Following June 30, patients can contact Rite Aid at (724) 465-2243.