Rite Aid Cashes Out in Vegas; Walgreens Buys Pharm Files

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Rite Aid Cashes Out in Vegas; Walgreens Buys Pharm Files

CAMP HILL, Pa. -- Drug chain Rite Aid here is exiting the Las Vegas metro market, and Walgreens has already scooped up the patient files from 27 of Rite Aid's closing stores in the market.

Deerfield, Ill.-based Walgreens said on Friday that it expected the pharmacy patient files to be transferred to nearby Walgreens stores this week.

Camp Hill, Pa.-based Rite Aid said it has one store in Mesquite, Nev. that it also intends to close, and is selling the prescription files from that store as well. It said it will be closing all the stores over the next three months.

Rite Aid said it considered Las Vegas a non-core market that had not been contributing to overall results. The company added it hasn’t opened a new store in the Las Vegas area since 1999.

The chain said it will continue to operate a store in Nevada in Gardnerville, which is close to the border of California where it has more than 600 stores.

Taking advantage of rival Rite Aid’s exit, meanwhile, Walgreens said Rite Aid patients in the Las Vegas area will have their complete prescription histories available at any Walgreens.

“With 53 Las Vegas stores opened since we entered the market in 1996, patients will find our pharmacies convenient to use,” said Dave Gloudemans, Walgreens v.p. of store operations.

Walgreens operates 6,148 stores in 49 states and Puerto Rico, including 60 Happy Harry's stores in Delaware. Its health care services also include Walgreens Health Services, its managed care division, and Take Care Health Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary that manages convenient care clinics at drugstores.