Independent pharmacist sells to chain

Tom Wojciechowski said he was reassured about his decision to sell the city’s last independent pharm
PHOTOGRAPHER:

Tom Wojciechowski said he was reassured about his decision to sell the city’s last independent pharmacy operation when he recently filed a claim for Medicare reimbursement on a prescription.

The disposition of that claim, filed online, popped up on the screen. His cut was $2.08.

“It cost more to dispense,” Wojciechowski said. “I knew then I made the right choice,” he said. Also, he is also approaching his 60th birthday and said he has to consider retirement.

DelNegro’s, founded more than 70 years ago by the DelNegro family, closed Monday. Wojciechowski, who worked his first 16 years as a pharmacist for the DelNegro family and his last 20 as the owner, sold the business to Rite Aid.

As part of the deal, Wojciechowski will work at Rite Aid’s North Main Street pharmacy for at least a year. Some members of his 12-member staff are also making the move — along with all of his inventory and his customer roster.

Rite Aid has even agreed to continue DelNegro’s practice of making deliveries, which Wojciechowski said was a service that customers appreciated and helped make DelNegro’s competitive with the chains.

“It’s getting more difficult,” Wojciechowski said of the task of running a successful independent pharmacy. While negotiating what he called a “mutually satisfactory” agreement with Rite Aid, he said his alternative was to face the possibility that in two years, when he would be more interested in retirement, buyers might not materialize.

Wojciechowski owns his building and said he has no immediate plans for it.

Wojciechowski said the new arrangement will save him from his routine of 50-plus hour weeks. “I’ll be able to slow down a little bit,” he said.

Fulton County Chamber of Commerce President Wally Hart, acknowledging the loss of an independent to a chain, said while it is “unfortunate to lose a business that has been around so long, I think it’s the trend in the economy today.”

Hart said the community will benefit by Rite Aid’s agreement to continue delivery service.

Hart, a former business owner, said every business proprietor plans for the day when he or she can sell and retire.

He said it appears there is at least one party interested in acquiring the DelNegro building.

Categories: Schenectady County

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