By Heather Clower
The Parsons Advocate
The transition has been lengthy for the former Parsons Rite Aid conversion to the Walgreens brand. After so many decades of trusting Rite Aid and its employees, you’ll be relieved to know that other than some branding and signage, not much has changed.
Emily Nestor, who has been with the store as Manager since June, ensured “Whoever was here with Rite Aid before the conversion is still here,” this applies to the front of the store as well as the pharmacy. She confirmed that most of the products remain the same with a slight change in some of the brands. The alcohol section has also remained the same.
There obviously have been some changes with this transition, which includes a whole new layout of the store and there is no longer a photo center. The pharmacy is operating under a new system; therefore it may take a little longer for your first visit to switch your Rite Aid prescription numbers to a Walgreens number.
Alexandra Brown, Manager of the Corporate Media Relations, shared this information about the recent transition. “This location is now a fully branded Walgreens store with Walgreens’ trusted owned-brand products such as Nice! and No7, pharmacy and healthcare services, a broader selection of national brand products, FedEx shipping and pick up services and Balance® Rewards, our customer loyalty program. Balance® Rewards provides customers with promotional pricing, personalized discounts, paperless coupons and points for making healthy choices. Members also receive points for things they already purchase, like beauty products and prescriptions. Points can be redeemed for dollars off future purchases.” Brown continued, “Most customers will not experience any changes to their prescription price or coverage.”
“Customers can speak with their pharmacist about their prescription – since each Walgreens-owned Rite Aid store already has a Walgreens pharmacy, patients will continue to see the store team that they’ve trusted with their family’s care. Patients will gain access to more of Walgreens’ trusted pharmacy and healthcare services – such as vaccinations, online and mobile prescription management tools and 24/7 access to Walgreens pharmacy staff and more than 9,500 Walgreens pharmacies nationwide,” Brown concluded.
Corey Ritter, Pharmacist with the store since August, reassured that once each of your prescriptions are transferred out of the Rite Aid and into the Walgreens format, the process will return to quick and easy. Ritter also shared information regarding a prescription synching program, where patients with several maintenance medications, such as blood pressure, cholesterol, or diabetes, can establish a routine where all of these medications come due for refills at the same time and potentially filled on a three month basis. “Sometimes it takes a couple fills to get them lined up,” Ritter allowed, “but if they can be patient with us it will save them a lot of hassle.”
One thing that is important for patients who utilize this pharmacy to know is the first time you call in a refill before the prescription number has been converted, you will be informed via the automated system that your number is invalid. This is due to the system not recognizing the Rite Aid numbers. To remedy this one time per medication occurrence, you can call in and speak to a person in the pharmacy to request the refill so they can override it manually, or visit the pharmacy in person. After the first refill, you should be able to return to the automated call in convenience.
For the most part, once the new lay out of the store is learned and the prescription numbers have been switched to the Walgreens number, the changes to the new store are minimal.