Another independently owned pharmacy in Northern Kentucky is closing its doors.
Two months after the Fort Thomas Drug Center suddenly shuttered, Ludlow Pharmacy has now permanently shut down, owner Katie Litmer confirmed to LINK nky.
“Please know that this decision was the most difficult decision I’ve ever made,” she said. “Under my family, Ludlow Pharmacy has been a trusted source of healthcare in the community for over 42 years.”
All prescription files from the Ludlow Pharmacy will be transferred to the Walgreens located at 1825 Dixie Hwy in Fort Wright.
One of the reasons that Litmer attributed to the closure was direct and indirect remuneration fees, or DIRs, implemented by Pharmacy Benefit Managers — third-party companies that are intermediaries between insurance providers and pharmaceutical companies. DIR fees apply to Medicare Part D prescriptions.
DIRs are defined as compensation Medicare Part D sponsors or Pharmacy Benefit Managers collect after the point-of-sale. In the note, Litmer outlines how the fee, coupled with the general overhead of running the business, negatively effected their profits on a per-sale basis.
When Fort Thomas Drug Center closed in July, proprietor Craig Seether also cited DIRs as one reason for his business’ closure.
“I wish it would have been possible to make this notification earlier and to say our goodbyes in person, but please know that it has been an honor to be a part of the community for the past 30 years. I will forever cherish the time I have spent in this pharmacy sharing stories, jokes and laughs with so many of you, while working alongside some incredible clerks, technicians and pharmacists,” Litmer wrote.