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Update: Thrifty White to buy Shopko prescriptions

Shopko Pharmacy customers in Morris were notified Tuesday, Jan. 8 that Thrifty White Pharmacy is taking over ownership of the pharmacy. Sue Dieter/Stevens County Times1 / 3
The Shopko Hometown Pharmacy inside the Morris store will close on Wednesday, Jan. 16 at 4 p.m. All customer prescriptions have been purchased by Thrifty White Pharmacy. Sue Dieter/Stevens County Times2 / 3
The Thrifty White Pharmacy in Morris. Sue Dieter/Stevens County Times3 / 3

Thrifty White Pharmacy will buy the prescription files from the Shopko Hometown Pharmacy in Morris. Morris Shopko Hometown Pharmacy customers were notified of the change when a sign was posted at the store on Tuesday, Jan. 8.

The Shopko Hometown Pharmacy will close at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 16, a news release from Thrifty White Pharmacy's corporate office in Plymouth said. All prescriptions will be available to be filled and picked up at Thrifty White Pharmacy on Thursday morning, Jan. 17, located at 3 East Hwy 28.

Thrifty White Executive VP of Store Operations Timothy Erdle said all Shopko Pharmacy customers will be getting a letter outlining the changes, but they do not need to take any additional action to get their prescriptions transferred to the Thrifty White store. Additionally, all prescription records from the Shopko Hometown Pharmacy will be available to pharmacists in all other Thrifty White stores, in cases such as traveling, the release said.

Erdle said he's glad that the company committed to the community of Morris with a new building in 2016, and they are pleased to be in a position to service the additional customers. "We are fortunate and glad to be able to provide service to the Shopko patients," Erdle said.

Erdle said that the Shopko Pharmacy employees will be interviewed for positions within Thrifty White organization. Erdle said they hope to hire as many as possible for any company openings.

The closure of the Shopko pharmacy will mean a change for some local customers.

At West Wind Village in Morris, administrator Paula Viker said a "handful" of residents use the Shopko pharmacy. All residents except for those on Medicare Part A choose their own pharmacy for medications, Viker said. At any given time, about 10 percent of West Wind's residents are on Medicare A and the nursing home uses Thrifty White for those prescriptions, Viker said.

"It's almost easier for us to have one pharmacy (in town)," Viker said. Yet, because most residents choose their pharmacy, Viker said, some families may be disappointed in the closing of the Shopko pharmacy.

Stevens Community Medical Center has its own pharmacy for patients in the hospital, said marketing director Angie Cole Olson.

Patients at the SCMC clinic would be impacted now that there will be one local pharmacy, Cole Olson said.

Thrifty White is an employee-owned company with 100 drug stores, the release said.

Stories published this week in the Green Bay Gazette, St. Paul Pioneer Press and by the Associated Press and other media say a pharmaceutical drug supplier to Shopko says the Wisconsin-based retail chain is expected to file for bankruptcy next week .Michelle Hansen of Shopko public relations did not return a phone message left by the Stevens County Times.

In December, Shopko announced that it would sell 42 of its current 227 pharmacy locations across the U.S. The Morris store opened in September of 2012, after Shopko merged with Pamida.

Shopko was founded in 1962 and is headquartered in Green Bay. According to the company's website, Shopko operates 134 Shopko stores, 176 Shopko Hometown locations, 18 Shopko Pharmacy locations and five Shopko Express stores with a total of 18,000 employees.

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