Magazine article Drug Topics

Pharmacies Shrug off East Coast Blizzard

Magazine article Drug Topics

Pharmacies Shrug off East Coast Blizzard

Article excerpt

On the dot at 8:00 A.M. in Brooklyn, N.Y., the doors of a new Rite Aid Corp. pharmacy swung open for the first time. Barely noteworthy perhaps, except that two feet of snow were swiftly mounting outside and the wind was whipping up thigh-high drifts that Monday morning, as the blizzard of '96 pummeled the East Coast from Virginia to Maine with a wintry blast. But, like the Brooklyn store, a majority of the pharmacies in the region opened for business Jan. 8, typically with less staff and fewer, but more grateful, customers.

"Customer traffic was better than usual on a first day of opening," reported Rite Aid Corp. spokesman Craig Muckle, on the Brooklyn store's debut. "There was no vehicular traffic. It was all walk-up." Muckle said that in West Virginia, which was struck with as much as four feet of snow, 143 of Rite Aid's 151 stores opened. Hardest hit was Philadelphia, where only 41 of 160 stores could operate.

"There were some closures," recounted Craig Burridge, executive director of the Pharmaceutical Society of the State of New York. "Those [pharmacists] who had four-wheel drive got in. A lot of them were missing staff." Said Daniel C. Leone, executive v.p. of the Connecticut Pharmacists Association, "Most of the guys got their places open, a little later in the day perhaps [than usual]."

A quick survey by the Massachusetts Pharmacists Association found no service problems, according to Linda E. Barry, the executive v.p. "The most difficult thing is just dealing with the snow removal," she added. …

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