Cost Less Pharmacy in Fircrest will dispense its final prescriptions on Friday.
The independent Fircrest mainstay, located at 1109 Regents Blvd., has been owned and operated by pharmacist Dale Bisceglia for 19 years.
The gift and greeting card business associated with the pharmacy will remain open and may expand, Bisceglia said Thursday.
All records and prescriptions will be transferred to the Walgreens Pharmacy at 2650 Bridgeport Way W. in University Place. Seven pharmacy employees will likely also move to the Walgreens, Bisceglia said.
“We’re a big part of the community, and we realize that,” he said. “Our profession is getting more difficult each year. It’s all sides – insurance companies, the margins are getting smaller each year, expenses are going up. We have a good number of people coming in. It’s not like we don’t have enough business. It’s just hard to survive.”
Bisceglia said he felt “terrible. I’ve been doing this for 38 years. There’s been so many changes in the last four or five years. I’ve really liked taking care of people, but I just today filled a prescription and lost $50 on it. I didn’t tell the customer. It’s a total fight with the reimbursement rates.”
Over the next several weeks, he said, he expects to sell the remainder of the nonprescription health and beauty aids at the pharmacy, and then perhaps expand the gift and card lines.
Customers were hearing the news on Thursday. “Everybody’s been very nice to us, saying they understand,” Bisceglia said. “The response has been supportive. This was the toughest decision I ever had to make.”
The Fircrest Cost Less Pharmacy is not related to a pharmacy with a similar name n South Tacoma. That Cost Less continues to serve customers seeking prescriptions.