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Rite Aid launches small format store program

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Mayor Richard Fox of Craigsville, Va. cuts the ribbon for the new Rite Aid Pharmacy – the first location for Rite Aid’s small format store pilot program, which aims to improve pharmacy access in underserved communities. He is joined by Chief Retail Officer Andre Persaud, Community Pharmacy Leader Ryan Minnich, and Rite Aid associates.

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – Rite Aid Corp. on Thursday opened its first Rite Aid Pharmacy location in Craigsville, Virginia, the first in a pilot program to improve access for pharmacy services in “pharmacy deserts” and underserved communities. The company plans to open two more Rite Aid Pharmacy locations in Virginia by early 2023.

Each new Rite Aid Pharmacy location will occupy approximately 3,000 square feet, which is significantly smaller than the average 11,000 to 15,000 square-foot standard Rite Aid locations. These smaller format stores will feature a full-service pharmacy and a retail assortment of health and wellness products.

Rite Aid unveiled the pharmacy today in a ribbon cutting ceremony attended by Mayor Richard Fox and other community leaders.

“With these new smaller format pharmacy locations, we are bringing critical pharmacy services to underserved communities,” said Andre Persaud, Rite Aid’s chief retail officer. “We look forward to becoming a vital member of this community and learning from this new store model as we explore expansion to additional markets across the U.S.”

Craigsville Mayor Richard Fox added: “The opening of this Rite Aid store is valuable for the community, especially for our senior citizens, as they’ll no longer have to travel over 20 minutes to get their medications. I want to thank Rite Aid for moving into the area and encourage our residents to frequently patronize it.”

One in ten Americans live more than five miles from the nearest pharmacy, and studies showthat connection and interaction with a pharmacist is a leading factor in medication adherence, which, in turn, has a dramatic effect on health outcomes. Underutilization of medications drives $500 billion-plus each year in avoidable medical costs. Per the Rural Policy Research Institute many U.S. counties that lack a pharmacy tend to be home to a higher proportion of populations considered vulnerable – including the elderly, uninsured, unemployed, and those with income below the federal poverty level.

The Rite Aid Pharmacy in Craigsville, situated in the heart of the community next to the library, post office and town hall, will serve a critical need for the town of less than 1,000. Until now, residents have had to drive to neighboring communities for pharmacy services. The Rite Aid Pharmacy will employ a full-time pharmacist and a full-time pharmacy technician. Additional part-time pharmacy technicians will float between two area Rite Aid Pharmacy locations.

“Pharmacists play a critical role in healthcare – providing education and counseling, screening for interactions between medications, encouraging prescription adherence and offering important preventive care like immunizations and health screenings. As a modern pharmacy, Rite Aid is committed to improving access and convenience to these important services and fostering relationships between community members and their local pharmacist,” Persaud said.

Rite Aid plans to open another Rite Aid Pharmacy location in Greenville, Virginia, which is also in Augusta County, in December of this year and anticipates opening another location in Scottsville, Virginia early next year.


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