Curt’s Pharmacy, New Richland Drug to close

Published 3:38 pm Monday, November 18, 2019

Curt’s Pharmacy in Albert Lea and New Richland Drug in New Richland will close their doors to customers Tuesday after a combined 36 years in the community.

Owner Curt Clarambeau said the closures are a result of decreased Medicare reimbursements and payments from insurance companies and pharmacy benefit managers, and increased regulations.

He said at one time all small towns used to have their own pharmacies, but many have started closing in the last decade. He estimated 50% of all pharmacies are expected to close in the coming years and referenced HealthPartner’s announcement last week to close its mail-order pharmacy business and 30 retail pharmacies.

Clarambeau said he had been discussing closing his business for “a long time,” but an agreement wasn’t finalized with Walgreens until Thursday afternoon. He started letting his employees and others know on Friday.

Clarambeau has owned Curt’s Pharmacy in Albert Lea for 16 years, and New Richland Drug for 20 years.

“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed being part of this community and serving the community,” he said. “The community has treated me very well. I appreciate the loyalty of our customers, and I hope to continue to see them.”

His third business, Curt’s Longterm Care Pharmacy, which provides services to area nursing home facilities, assisted living facilities and group homes, will remain open.

Clarambeau will work part time at Walgreens, where all patient records will be transferred, and part time through the longterm care pharmacy.

He said about 10 of his 20 staff members will be affected with the pharmacy closures.