My local CVS drugstore closing due to consolidation policy, not looting

CVS decided not to renew its leasehold at a significantly higher rate for its freestanding drugstore in my small city San Dimas (population 34,000) in LA County and will close up on 9/30/2023. This particular CVS store will be sorely missed for its top notch operation, friendly highly efficient staff, especially the pharmacy who knew all their regular customers by name. The pharmacists at the CVS San Dimas store tell me that in the interim CVS plans to rotate them around to other stores.

My wife and I had to switch to a much larger freestanding CVS drugstore in nearby Covina which had to absorb customers from another recently closed CVS store. The Covina store was busy with a long line at the Pharmacy handled by three cashiers and a long line of cars at the drive through. The pharmacy also recently had to increase its operating hours.

Back in 2021, CVS first made a major policy change that meant hundreds of CVS locations would close as the chain worked to cut costs and get ahead of losses. CVS announced, The company has been evaluating changes in population, consumer buying patterns and future health needs to ensure it has the right kinds of stores in the right locations for consumers and for the business. As part of this initiative, CVS Health will reduce store density in certain locations and close approximately 300 stores a year for the next three years.

As many as 900 CVS stores are expected to close through the end of 2024.

CVS is not alone as the U.S. drugstore landscape has been consolidating at a jarring pace now that the pandemic has passed.

Also, more recently on 8/23/2023, CVS announced launching a new company, called Cordavis, which would aim to bring down drug prices for customers by producing biosimilar medications and negotiating directly with drugmakers.

8/23/2023 CVS Health launches Cordavis

CVS Health® (NYSE: CVS) today announced that it has launched Cordavis, a wholly owned subsidiary that will work directly with manufacturers to commercialize and/or co-produce biosimilar products (an FDA approved biologic medication that is highly similar to, and has no clinically meaningful differences from, a biologic medicine already approved by the FDA) for the U.S. pharmaceutical market. The Cordavis products will be FDA approved, high quality and easy for patients to use and will help ensure consistent long-term supply of affordable biosimilars.

As the U.S. pharmaceutical environment continues to evolve, biosimilars represent one of the biggest opportunities for reducing drug costs for employers and consumers. Through Cordavis, CVS Health intends to develop a portfolio of products that it expects will facilitate broader access to biosimilars in the U.S. — creating more competition that drives down prices — while encouraging investment in future products. The biosimilars market in the U.S. is projected to grow from less than $10 billion in 2022 to more than $100 billion by 2029."

As its first product, Cordavis has contracted with Sandoz to commercialize and bring to market Hyrimoz® (adalimumab-adaz), a biosimilar for Humira®, in the first quarter of 2024 under a Cordavis private label. The list price of the Cordavis Hyrimoz® will be more than 80% lower than the current list price of Humira®.




I read this story last week and wondered: there are two CVS stores within a mile or two of our house, so they would seem prime candidates for one to close. That said, you cannot get to the window - outside or in - without waiting a good five minutes, and they’ve all but eliminated the cashier at the front (who is always loading the shelves or something) and forcing us to go through the self-serve machine which works sporadically.

Something’s wrong here, and I vote for “management”.


CVS has also acquired many other pharmacies. They took over the pharmacy department at Target. In my area they acquired the pharmacy departments in local grocery store chains.

This leaves them with stores too close together and extra large manpower requirements. Closing extra stores is a logical next step. And it reduces competition.

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