After Rite Aid Declares Bankruptcy, Fewer Pharmacies to Choose From in Western Washington
The news of Rite Aid’s bankruptcy filing this week has rocked the western Washington region, resulting in even fewer pharmacy choices for the community. The acquisition of Bartell Drugs in 2020 may mean that one less pharmacy could be on the list of potential closures, as the Lower Queen Anne location shut down in August, marking the only 24-hour pharmacy in Seattle that is now a goner.
What the Loss of a 24-hour Pharmacy Means for the People of Seattle
For the people of Seattle, the loss of the 24-hour pharmacy means that access to necessary medication, and other medical necessities, will become even more limited. Descie Svennungsen and Inna Peck, customers of the now-closed Bartell Drugs on 1st Avenue, revealed the closure to be even more upsetting considering the location’s status as the neighborhood pharmacy. Other recent closures in Bartell Drugs locations include those in Lynnwood, Des Moines, Ballard, and downtown Seattle, depriving people of their local access to medication.
Is This the End for All 24-hour Pharmacies in Western Washington?
The Walgreens in Issaquah and one location in Spokane may be the only 24-hour pharmacies left in the whole of western Washington. This could serve as a major issue for those without the means to access such locations, as public transportation links deep into Issaquah can be quite difficult to follow.
Rite Aid’s Response to Further Closures
When asked about further closures, Rite Aid released a statement that suggests this is only the beginning, and that other shops are likely to suffer the same fate. Measures to reduce rent expenses and strengthen overall financial performance are said to be behind the closures.
The ripple effects of Rite Aid’s bankruptcy may prove to be extremely detrimental to communities previously served by the pharmacies. While some are left without a convenient form of access to the medication they need, others must also grapple with the stark reality of fewer choices and a severely limited market.