Letter to the Editor: Jolly’s Drug Store

Dear Editor,

Jolly’s Drug Store and its employees would like to publicly express their gratitude for the business and support of the people of Lincoln County. Jolly’s Drug is excited to serve Lincoln County and is proud to host its grand opening for the Caliente Store today. Because there was so much to be done at the beginning of the year until now Jolly’s has not been able to have a grand opening or express their gratitude to its customers. So today we say Thank You!

Towards the end of last year Meadow Valley Pharmacy was put up for sale. During that time the growing concern in Lincoln County was that the pharmacy stay open through the transition and maintain the ability to fill prescriptions without a loss in services. Jolly’s Drug was able to finalize the purchase of the pharmacy, and after many long hours of work Jolly’s was able to get all of the necessary paperwork completed within the needed timeframe, and the pharmacy never closed to the customers.

Jolly’s is looking forward to serving the community for many years in the future. However, it is important for the community to know that the Lincoln County Hospital d/b/a Grover C. Dils Medical Center is on the agenda for the March 20, 2017 County Commission meeting to seek approval for an additional license to participate in in house or sale of pharmaceuticals which would go into direct competition with Jolly’s Drug Store.

The issue arises because Grover C. Dils is a County Hospital and as such receives tax dollars to run. What would occur is if the hospital is allowed to pursue an additional license, a government entity would literally be setting up across the street from a private business and competing. The hospital receives tax revenue to run. Jolly’s Drug pays taxes as it does business. What would be happening is Jolly’s would be asked to pay into the tax money that would be given to the hospital. Then, the hospital would use the tax money generated by Jolly’s and other businesses to put Jolly’s out of business. This is not right.

Currently, the Hospital does have the necessary pharmacy license for institutional services and with that license the Hospital can provide for all hospital needs. This license allows all patients to receive the pharmaceuticals they need while admitted to the hospital and enough pharmaceuticals to get the patient through until the pharmacy opens. There is no need for the Hospital to pursue an additional license to sell pharmaceuticals. For years, the current system has been able to support the hospital and meet the needs of the public as well.

At this point the Hospital has indicated that it only wants to fill a patient’s first prescription. In order to do that they still must obtain an additional license. This is the same license required for a full-service retail pharmacy. Upon obtaining the additional license there will be no ability to prevent the Hospital from utilizing the full capability of that license which would allow the hospital to continue the pursuit of a full-service retail pharmacy to further compete with Jolly’s Drug in the future. The Hospital has presented this idea under the name of an in-house pharmacy, regardless of the name an additional license is still needed.

This is not an issue of two private businesses competing. This is an issue of the Hospital using your money to compete with a local business. Small businesses are extremely important to the sustaining and growth within small communities. The reality is that Jolly’s will not be able to compete with the hospital. Jolly’s already has to compete with big box stores out of town as well as mail order sales. As different professionals in the field have been asked about the situation, the understanding is that Lincoln County is a “one horse town”. An industry expert that has been in business for over 14 years and currently oversees about 100 pharmacies indicated that, because there is not a lot of new business generated, there are only enough prescriptions for a single pharmacy. In larger areas where thousands of scripts are being written, multiple pharmacies can stay in business, but that is not the case here. Jolly’s needs your support to stay in business. It is also important to be aware that, if Jolly’s goes out of business, the satellite office located in Alamo will also be lost.

Jolly’s Drug Store is excited for the opportunity to serve the people of Lincoln County, but it is important that the people of Lincoln County show their support for local business and come to the meeting on March 20th or speak with your local Commissioner and tell them that an additional license for the Hospital to participate in the sale of pharmaceuticals would not be appropriate. Thank you all for your support.

Jolly’s Drug Store

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