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Long's Drugs pharmacy closes locations, transfers customers to CVS

According to the company, CVS will be taking on any prescriptions from the closing stores.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Long's Drugs, a retail pharmacy chain that has stores in the Midlands and along the East Coast, has closed its doors for good. 

According to Long's Drugs, CVS will be taking on any prescriptions from the closing stores.

Longs Specialty, long-term care, and our pharmacies serving health clinics will remain open, according to the company. 

CVS put a statement about gaining ownership of Long's Drugs on their website

"CVS Pharmacy has been doing business for nearly 50 years and our commitment to the highest quality pharmacy service has resulted in millions of loyal customers. We look forward to being your pharmacy, too," CVS writes. 

On their website, CVS says it will continue to do the following for Long's Drugs customers. 

  • Provide the same great services
  • Retain the staff you know and trust
  • Accept all major health plans
  • Keep your prescription records on file
  • Honor competitor Rx coupons
  • Enjoy our online pharmacy services

According to a Facebook post from Long's Drugs, the decision was made in response to the changes in healthcare, including industry shifts, and changes in the cultural and rural landscapes where the majority of their pharmacies are located. 

The pharmacy had locations across Columbia, Newberry, and Saluda, along with more locations in South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia. 

In the Facebook post, the company writes that they will be focusing their resources on their pharmacies located in AIDS Service Organization (ASO), STI Clinics, and Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC).

Credit: WLTX
A sign posted inside a Long's Pharmacy in Columbia.

According to the post, this focus will allow them to "find innovative ways to coordinate patient care, improve continuity of care, and integrate our pharmacy teams with clinical staff to provide better health outcomes for patients."

Since the company will be selling their retail pharmacies, the number of pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, customer service representatives and drivers needed will be reduced. According to their post, CVS will be offering the affected team members opportunities for employment, depending on the needs of those local pharmacies. The company adds that they will also have opportunities for those employees at their other locations. The company said it will be offering severance packages to separated individuals.

In the Facebook post, Long's Drugs comments on the difficulty of this decision. 

"Letting go of our retail patients and our connection to those communities we’ve served for so long is difficult. The Longs legacy stretches back nearly 100 years, and in that time, our teams have served generations of families, supported countless health and community efforts, and have become beloved fixtures in those communities. We are immensely proud of the care that we have had the opportunity to provide for the generations we have served over the years," the post reads.

The post goes on to say that the mission of Long's will not be changing, instead, the change will focus the mission more, providing "excellent and affordable care for those who need it most and to do so in a way that is most effective for both patients and their providers."

The post ends with thanks to customers over the years. 

"To those of you who have received care at one of our Longs Drugs locations over the years, it was truly an honor to serve you. We are proud to have been part of your health journey, your community, and, in so many cases, your family."