One of the Madison area's few remaining independent pharmacies is closing.

Bergmann Pharmacy, Middleton, ended its pharmacy operations last Thursday and will probably close the store on Friday, said co-owner Darrel Brown.

The Fitchburg location will stop providing pharmacy services on Thursday but will remain open for two to four weeks to sell its cards, gifts and other non-pharmaceutical merchandise, he said.

Brown, manager and pharmacist at the Fitchburg store, 2960 Cahill Main, said competition from the big chain drugstores is a factor but not the main reason for closing the Bergmann stores.

"Insurance reimbursements continue to decrease, and it's become difficult to stay profitable with decreased reimbursements," he said.

The Middleton store, an anchor of the Middleton Springs shopping center for more than 35 years, has seven employees. Its pharmacy inventory and prescription records have been purchased by CVS, which has a store across the street at 6210 Century Ave.

There are nine employees at the Fitchburg store, at its current location for 10 years and before that, a few blocks away at 3038 Fish Hatchery Road for at least 20 years. Walgreens, a block away at 2931 S. Fish Hatchery Road, will take over the pharmacy assets and prescriptions from that Bergmann location.

Brown and Christine Dryer have owned the local chain since 2000; Dryer is manager and pharmacist at the Middleton location. Two more Bergmann stores, at 529 S. Midvale Blvd. and in Oregon, closed in 2006.

Brown said he will take a job as a pharmacist at Walgreens, and at least a couple of the other pharmacists have jobs elsewhere. Employment for the other workers is still under negotiation, he said.

Brown acknowledged that small, local pharmacies can't offer customers all of the advantages that the big chains have, such as drive-up windows, extended hours and rewards programs.

Asked if there is a future for independents, Brown said, "Not unless something is done about reimbursement rates."

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MadisonsGirl
MadisonsGirl

It's sad to see an independent pharmacy leave a great town. As a customer of an independent pharmacy you will receive a much more personal experience. Pharmacist will generally know you by name and will be more willling to help you find the right product for you. Customer service is certainly number one. Check out Mallatt's Pharmacy and Costumes on Willy Street, Monroe Street, in Waunakee, and in Lodi! The Waunakee and Lodi locations both have drive throughs just like the "big box" pharmacies only they will be more focused on you than on their reward programs! Stay local friends.

WeThePeople
WeThePeople

It was a pharmacy with a very knowledgeable owner/manager. Consider Neuhauser Pharmacy on Monroe Street or Community Pharmacy downtown if you want to stay away from the big boxes. You don't have to go where the accounts were sold.

einstein
einstein

I picked some up tonite at Walgreen's. We're all guilty even though I want to support Bergmann's. This winter weather though makes it easier to drive up. We're all to blame...

Shake
Shake

Speaking as an independent business owner, I am always sorry to see one close.

Reply
Reply

What's worse is when a small ma/pa business closes and nothing takes its place in the market. Just another big-box casualty.