3 North Bay pharmacies to close after Walgreens acquires Pharmaca parent company

In a deal that will lead to the closure of Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacies, including three in the North Bay, pharmacy health giant Walgreens confirmed Wednesday it has acquired Medly Health, a digital pharmacy business.

That Brooklyn, New York-based company, which filed for bankruptcy in December, reported it had $110 million in secured debt. On Tuesday, Walgreens’ deal to purchase the company for $19.35 million was approved by a judge in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.

About a year before Medly’s bankruptcy filing, the company acquired Boulder, Colorado-based Pharmaca, a full-service pharmacy and wellness company.

Walgreen’s said Wednesday it is acquiring Medly’s assets and closing the Pharmaca locations, which in the North Bay includes Sonoma, Napa and Novato.

“We are pleased to have reached agreement to acquire the pharmaceutical records and other select assets across 22 Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacies and four Medly Pharmacies nationally,” Walgreens spokeswoman Kris Lathan said in a Wednesday statement.

“Although specific store details are being finalized given bankruptcy court’s ruling Tuesday, prescription files and inventory are expected to be transferred to nearby Walgreens by mid-February,” Lathan stated, adding that patients don’t need to take any action because Walgreens will automatically transfer patients’ pharmacy files to a designated Walgreens store.

“Patients will receive notice about any changes through mail and other means with details about continued access to their prescriptions and other services.”

Deidre Verdu, manager of the Sonoma Pharmaca store, on Wednesday told the Sonoma Index-Tribune, a sister publication of the Business Journal, that she and her staff were notified Tuesday that their pharmacy operations will close Thursday. The store, however, will stay open until Feb. 25 to sell its retail products, she said.

For longtime Sonoma customer Carole Cherry, the loss of Pharmaca hits especially hard.

Her daughter is severely autistic, she said, and Pharmaca’s ability to compound medications without contacting an outsourcing facility has been important. A compounded medication is a drug that is specifically mixed and prepared for an individual based on a doctor’s prescription.

“They were famous for doing compounds, different flavors to try to make it easier for kids, and even animals, to take their medications,” Cherry said. “I use a lot of products that I buy online, but the thing is, when you’re here with your child and you need something right now, it has always been so wonderful to be able to go there, have someone to talk to and feel like you have a partner in health. It’s very, very sad to see them go.”

Walgreens was involved in another pharmacy deal last summer when Lucky Stores shuttered its in-store pharmacies, of which there were seven in the North Bay, and moved them to Walgreens. Modesto-based Save Mart Supermarkets is the parent company of Lucky’s.

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported the name of the manager of the Sonoma Pharmaca store. She is Deidre Verdu.

Show Comment