Nash Drugs, a pharmacy with locations in and around Hillsdale, will close Sept. 21
The small drugstore chain opened in Hillsdale in 1974.
“As a result of the legislation and general practices in the pharmacy market, the pharmacy won’t be able to make a profit anymore,” said Anette Frosch, chief operating officer of Nash Drugs. “No company can survive if it is having to provide a service for negative profits.”
Though Nash Drugs also operated gift shops in its Howell Street and Jonesville locations, 94% of its profits come from pharmaceutical sales, according to Frosch. The local pharmacy has faced financial hardship as a result of growing pressures from competitors and pharmaceutical legislation — such as non-competitive practice rules — as well as preferential treatment of other pharmacies by wholesale manufacturers and insurance companies, and intense lobbying by pharma corporations.
Nash Drugs first opened its doors in 1974 and has since run a small county chain of pharmacies for 50 years. It has attracted a dedicated base of customers and employees. In addition to its Hillsdale location on Howell Street, Nash Drugs also operates storefronts in the Hometown Hotspot in Hillsdale and E. Chicago Street in Jonesville.
“Nash Drugs has always been that place where you could receive medicine reliably or look for that special gift for a friend,” said Kristina Poll, a regular Nash Drugs customer. “I’ve been coming here ever since I was a child. I’m devastated by its closing.”
Poll said the disappearance of any small business is a problem.
“It’s sad that the small businesses are slowly disappearing in towns. There’s just a different environment when everyone knows your name and who you are,” Poll said.
Karen Smith, a pharmacy technician who has worked for Nash for 28 years, said it is difficult for any small pharmacy to remain open in the current industry.
“I’m sad that we are closing,” Smith said. “We have a great community at Nash and it will be hard to cope with when it is gone.”
While Frosch said she and the other staff members will seek work at other pharmacies in the area, the loss of the Nash Drugs community, where she has worked for 30 years, is a big one.
“This pharmacy has become a lot more than what the name implies,” Frosch said. “It is a place where we have grown families, made memories, and created long-lasting friendships.”
Frosch said both her and her staff will find work at another pharmacy, but they are saddened to see Nash Drugs closing.
“This has had nothing to do with our community here, it is simply the state of the industry. We have fought this for many years, but the writing on the wall is clear: you can’t operate a business at a negative profit,” Frosch said.