CVS Pharmacy in downtown State College set to close next month. Here’s what we know

Another pharmacy is soon set to leave Centre County.

CVS Pharmacy inside Target (201 W. Beaver Ave.) — in downtown State College — will close Feb. 20, as part of a company restructuring that will close dozens of CVS Pharmacies inside the national retailer. The closure comes two months after competing pharmacy chain Rite Aid closed three of their four Centre County locations after filing for bankruptcy.

CVS, the nation’s largest pharmacy chain, currently boasts five locations in the State College area, one in Bellefonte and one in Philipsburg. Two of those locations, both in the State College area, are found within a Target — although a company spokesperson told the CDT no other closures were planned in State College.

“We’ll be closing select CVS Pharmacy in Target locations in early 2024,” the spokesperson explained in an email. “The pharmacy closures will begin in February and be completed by the end of April, and impacted employees will be offered comparable roles within the company.

“The closures are part of our plan to realign our national retail footprint and reduce store and pharmacy density and are based on our evaluation of changes in population, consumer buying patterns and future health needs to ensure we have the right pharmacy format in the right locations for patients.”

Prescriptions will be transferred a 3-minute walk away, to the nearby CVS Pharmacy at 116 W. College Ave., the spokesperson added.

CVS is seeking to cut costs after, CBS News reported, the company told investors in August that rising pharmacy and insurance expenses would dent profits over the next few years. A plan was enacted last year to cut 5,000 positions.

Rising expenses have been an issue for the country’s three largest pharmacy chains. Besides CVS, Rite Aid filed for bankruptcy last year and Walgreens announced in the fall it is looking to cut $1 billion in expenses.

Experts have pointed to a slew of reasons for chains’ struggles — such as online competitors like Amazon, waning COVID-19 vaccine/testing business, lower reimbursement rates for prescription drugs, staffing issues, financial risk from lawsuits over opioid prescriptions, etc.