Diamond Pharmacy sells retail operation
For more than 35 years, Diamond Pharmacy in Mt. Pleasant helped to meet the pharmaceutical needs of those in the area.
The company announced last week it has sold its retail operation to CVS Pharmacy, and all customer prescriptions have been transferred to the CVS Pharmacy's Mt. Pleasant location.
“It was a privilege for us as well as the original owners of the store, Tom and Linda Degentesh, to serve the community for 35-plus years, and we are grateful for the community support and loyalty we have had for the 35-plus years,” owner Debbie Meshanski said.
Mt. Pleasant Borough Manager Jeff Landy said many residents were surprised to learn of the closing.
“It was the only retail pharmacy in the borough limits, and they were very popular,” Landy said. “It does leave us without a retail pharmacy in the borough limits, and I hope that can change in the future for the sake of the residents.”
Meshanski said she bought the pharmacy in 2005 from Tom and Linda Degentesh. She said the business has evolved during the past eight years, which has made it very difficult for independent pharmacies to compete.
“Small businesses have their share of challenges, and retail pharmacies have some very special challenges from the big corporations, such as $4 and free prescriptions and transfer programs, some of which are now up to $40 a prescription, and they have everyday marketing blitzes as well,” she said.
Meshanski said that while many of the pharmacy's older customers remained loyal and appreciated the personal customer service they offered, younger customers had different needs.
“But in today's world, service is not as important, and in a lot of ways convenience is more important, and the corporation can offer one-stop shopping and a wide variety of products,” she said.
In the past several years, Meshanski said, she has seen a decline in business to the point that a decision had to be made.
“It was a very difficult decision, but we felt it was the right time to make the change and focus our efforts on a more specialized type of pharmacy practice.”
When Meshanski purchased the business, it had some long-term care, nursing-home business that grew to the point in 2007 that it was split from the retail operations and run as an independent business. Diamond Pharmacy HCS is a closed-door pharmacy that will continue to operate and serve nursing homes, group homes, hospices and customers who receive medication compliance packaging. That business is still in operation, and customers who have those types of prescriptions or needs may call 724-547-2350.
Meshanski said soon she will open a very specialized retail pharmacy with a new name in the same space, which will serve customers who need custom, compounded medications.
“Many dentists, veterinarians, gynecologists, dermatologists, even hospice, any physician that has a need for a patient that cannot be filled by a commercially available product can usually be met through a compounding pharmacy,” she said. “This includes bioidential hormone replacement therapy, which can take the form of oral capsules to gels depending on how the doctor prescribes to what the patient prefers.”
Meshanski said CVS was chosen for several reasons, including its close proximity to town, willingness to serve delivery customers and, most importantly, willingness to interview employees who she said are like family.
Eight employees have been displaced by the closing. Meshanski said all are being interviewed by CVS, and several have received job offers from the company.
“We've operated our Mt. Pleasant pharmacy for over a dozen years, so we are pleased to expand our services to the Mt. Pleasant community through this transfer with Diamond Pharmacy,” CVS Pharmacy spokesperson Mike DeAngelis said.
He said all of the pharmacy's customer records have been transferred into their system.
“As of yesterday, any former Diamond Pharmacy customer could walk into our Mt. Pleasant location or any other CVS Pharmacy location and have their prescription filled,” he said.
DeAngelis said CVS will also continue to meet the needs of the retail customers who received delivery service from Diamond Pharmacy.
“If you were a delivery customer with Diamond, we will continue to deliver to you. There may be some changes in the schedule for delivery, but we will make the same deliveries,” he said.
Those with questions regarding the transfer or services can stop in to speak to a pharmacist at CVS or call 724-547-4563. The pharmacy is open 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays. The retail part of the store is open 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week.
Paula Patterson of Hunker said she has been a customer of Diamond Pharmacy for three years. She said she will miss the friendly, personal service she received at Diamond Pharmacy.
“Seeing that CVS is just outside town, it won't have much effect on me, but I probably will change to another privately owned pharmacy like Norvelt Pharmacy or Hayden's in Youngwood,” Patterson said.
Linda Harkcom is a contributing writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- 3 face charges for drugs, weapons after arrest in North Huntingdon
- Identities of theft suspects sought by Penn Township and state police
- Man takes rifle from Jeannette police car
- Pollution may be cause of sky’s colored streaks in Westmoreland
- Grant program targets 7 Westmoreland County towns, including Greensburg, for revitalization
- Westmoreland judge: Contact with advocacy group won’t hamper fairness in drug trial
- Girl, 8, hit by truck in North Irwin, breaks leg
- Latrobe-Unity parks department seeks grant; revamp to cost $112K
- Contract talks to start this week for prison union in Westmoreland
- At 87, Rostraver man still entertaining polka fans
- Mt. Pleasant Scout creates drop box for flag disposal