Weber & Judd Pharmacies acquired by Hy-Vee, Inc.

By : 
Gretchen Mensink Lovejoy
Chatfield News

Chatfield residents who use the St. Charles Weber & Judd Pharmacy following the late-November closure of the Chatfield location inside Sunshine Foods need not worry that they’ll have to find another pharmacy now that Hy-Vee has acquired the Rochester-based pharmacy company.

Hy-Vee Vice President of Communications Tina Potthoff stated the pharmacy is in St. Charles to stay, and that it has more services available to customers who have used Weber & Judd.

A Feb. 25 press release said Hy-Vee, Inc., acquired the business of all Weber & Judd pharmacies in Minnesota. Weber & Judd has served the Rochester area since 1862. Weber & Judd has been an exemplary provider of pharmacy care for more than 150 years.

“Combining Weber & Judd with our Hy-Vee Pharmacy family is a perfect match because we both pride ourselves on providing an excellent experience to our customers,” said Randy Edeker, Hy-Vee’s chairman of the board, CEO and president. “We are grateful for the opportunity to continue to provide this same personalized care for the Weber & Judd family of patients and communities.”

Potthoff acknowledged that the transition may seem sudden after Weber & Judd closed in Chatfield last fall. At that time, Chris McDonough, of Weber & Judd, shared a letter with customers outlining that the decision to close the Chatfield pharmacy was not one made quickly or lightly, and that the primary reason for the conclusion to close was financial.

A letter sent to customers related, “Closing Weber & Judd Pharmacy in Chatfield was not a decision that was entered into lightly. We are proud to be a part of the business community and to care for the residents of Chatfield. This decision was based on the financial pressures, lowered insurance reimbursements, higher operating costs, decreasing populations and more. We value your business and hope to continue to serve your prescription needs at our St. Charles location at 401 W. 4th St.”

At that time, McDonough added, “This is a decision that we didn’t enter into lightly, like the letter says. It’s really very difficult…financial pressures and the lowered reimbursements from insurance caused difficulty, and it’s extremely difficult to find a new location…it was a case of our lease being up, and in the process, we put all of our cards on the table to see where we were sitting financially, and at the Chatfield store, unfortunately, things were not sitting well.”

The Weber & Judd representative invited customers to transfer their prescriptions to the St. Charles location if they so chose. He noted the pharmacy’s closing would cause hardships for some, but the company offered deliveries to Chatfield on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays before reiterating he was disappointed to close the Chatfield pharmacy.

“Again, this wasn’t a decision that was taken lightly. We considered it for a long time,” he said.

Potthoff explained that the St. Charles pharmacy was a part of the transaction to purchase Weber & Judd’s business locations.

“We did acquire the St. Charles location as well during the same timeframe,” she said. “It’s the same great service and the same great people, and we’re looking forward to being part of the transition.”

The press release issued by Hy-Vee late last month outlined, “Patient files will automatically transfer to Hy-Vee, and the pharmacies will be named ‘Hy-Vee HealthMarket Rx’ locations. The Weber & Judd pharmacy inside the Hy-Vee Barlow Plaza location will be rebranded as a Hy-Vee pharmacy, and patient files will remain at this location. In addition to traditional pharmacy services, Hy-Vee HealthMarket Rx locations feature text message notifications, free prescription delivery, automated refill ordering, immunization services, free blood pressure checks, private medication consultations and a registered dietitian available for nutritional consultations. Generic prescriptions are available for as low as $4 for a 30-day supply or $10 for a 90-day supply. Hy-Vee pharmacies are also integrated into the free Hy-Vee mobile app for both iOS and Android devices for easy prescription management.”

The Hy-Vee release informed customers who use Weber & Judd to watch their mailboxes for more information.

“Weber & Judd pharmacy patients will receive a letter from their new Hy-Vee pharmacy with additional details. We anticipate Weber & Judd employees will continue working at their respective locations as Hy-Vee employees.” Potthoff added, “The St. Charles location will close as a Weber & Judd pharmacy on Friday, April 12, and reopen on Monday, April 15, as a Hy-Vee HealthMarket Rx, so it’ll be closed for just a couple of days.”