Phred’s Drug sells pharmacy to CVS, closing Nov. 29

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After working for 38 years at Phred’s Drug, Jean Ricci won’t be interviewing for a job with CVS, when Phred’s closes its doors for the last time on Nov. 29.

“I don’t want to cry for a month,” Ricci said Tuesday at the pharmacy counter at the back of the store. Like other employees, Ricci learned Monday that the business, founded by Michael J. Rossi Jr. in 1955 and owned and operated by three generations of the Rossi family, was being sold to CVS.

A pharmacy technician and in charge of Phred’s delivery system, Ricci said working for Phred’s is “like being in a big family.” That was evident as customers greeted Ricci, shared news and lamented over how changing times will mean the loss of another locally owned store.

Teddy Scripsack is one of those loyal Phred’s customers. A retired Cranston firefighter, he started frequenting the shore when it was on Cranston Street, before its move to Oaklawn Avenue. Scripsack now lives in Barrington but he still comes to Phred’s to get his prescriptions filled. He won’t be making the trip anymore.

Pharmacist Charles Rossi, who runs the store now, was not on site Tuesday morning.

In a CVS release Rossi said, “As the owner of Phred’s Drug, my family and I have had the pleasure of serving Rhode Island residents for 62 years and would like to thank all of our patients and employees for their loyalty and dedication. Phred’s has long been a part of the Rhode Island health care community. With the health care landscape changing day to day, we felt that CVS Health was better positioned to best serve the pharmacy needs of our patients and employees now and in the future. We are grateful to have been able to care for our many patients and we are confident that CVS Pharmacy will provide the same top-notch customer service and pharmacy expertise we have provided at Phred’s.”

CVS said pharmacy files, insurance information and pharmacy inventory will be transferred confidentially to the CVS Pharmacy store located at 1195 Oaklawn Ave. in Cranston. CVS is not purchasing the building.

“CVS Pharmacy knows that Phred’s has been providing trusted pharmacy care for its patients for decades, and we are excited to continue that tradition,” Alisa Ulrey, Division Vice President for CVS Pharmacy, said in the release. “We are looking forward to introducing our industry-leading products and services to Phred’s patients and are committed to ensuring that their pharmacy needs are not only met but exceeded.” 

According to Amy Lanctot, senior manager of public relations for CVS, all former Phred’s employees will be given the opportunity to interview with CVS for employment, if they so choose.

CVS is not disclosing how much money they spent to acquire the pharmacy.

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GrabEmByTheCat

Oh how sad! For a once proud local pharmacy to be swallowed like a guppie by a hungry shark like CVS. I hope they didn’t go out without a fight!

It’s just sad how they survived Obama’s 8 years of terror on small business, and now caved after two years of Trump’s pro-business agenda.

I live two streets over, and can’t imagine not being able to stop into Phreds for the odds and ends on my way home from work!

They will be missed!

Wednesday, November 21, 2018
Justanidiot

thanks warwick voters. if we had erected master taxpaying mayer we would not have lost this business, the hundreds of jobs it provided, and the many people in the community. now they have to leave and people will have to go on the streets to get there drugs.

Saturday, November 24, 2018
richardcorrente

Dear Justanidiot,

Well, thank you once again for your kind words but electing me would have nothing to do with this Cranston business that I patronized for decades. Phred's was a great success story and held off CVS for a lot longer than many other independent pharmacies. Mr. Rossi said it was a pleasure to have "served". He couldn't have chosen a better word. The customer service at Phred's was out of this world! Everyone, every time, was so friendly and welcoming you left there wanting to go back again tomorrow. I, for one, will greatly miss that level of customer service. It can't be found in many other places but it was the constant-practice of this great landmark.

Merry Christmas and sincere thank you to the Phred's family.

Merry Christmas Justanidiot.

Merry Christmas everyone.

Rick Corrente

The Taxpayers Mayor

Saturday, November 24, 2018
Justanidiot

no wonder warwick is failing, even master mayer will not shop here. running off to cranston to get his drugs. eye bets he even goes to providence to shop. ands to massachusetts to see major league games

Saturday, November 24, 2018
richardcorrente

Dear Justanidiot,

Guilty as charged.

I was at the Chiefs/Patriots game. Best I've seen this century!

Merry Christmas old friend.

Rick Corrente

The Taxpayers Mayor

Monday, November 26, 2018
Justanidiot

please dont tells me what days eyes have to be haapy or sad on, master mayer. keep your pagan thoughts to yersef

Monday, November 26, 2018
Cat

What a shame. Where else can you go to get your prescription, alcohol and random RI specialty items?

Tuesday, December 4, 2018