Owner of small Howland pharmacy makes difficult decision to close business

Local News

Anthony Fossaceca said he was losing money on his prescriptions because of pharmacy benefit managers

HOWLAND, Ohio (WKBN) – A Howland business closed its doors for the last time on Wednesday.

Anthony’s Family Pharmacy started as a dream and recently became busier than ever.

“It’s not what I want to do… at all.”

As Anthony Fossaceca ran his business for the last day, one customer’s story completely explained the reason.

“I just had a guy in here today that got a three months supply of a diabetes medication. I got paid a total of $1.12,” Fossaceca said.

Even though Fossaceca had been filling 1,000 prescriptions a month, better than he’s ever done, it didn’t translate into more profit.

Fossaceca said he was losing money on about 30% of the prescriptions because of pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs).

“So they’ll say, ‘Hey, Dave. You went into Anthony’s Family Pharmacy. You got a prescription filled. Anthem — that’ll be $30.’ And they turn around and they go, ‘Anthony, here’s $10.’ So they pocket that middle $20,” Fossaceca said.

Money that could make a huge difference in his small business.

Fossaceca and his father Carl started Anthony’s Family Pharmacy in 2014. His dad passed away four years later.

Their approach was building one on one relationships, adding personal touches to help people improve their health.

“Some people I feel like I let down because I know there are some people that kinda rely on some things that I was doing to keep an eye on their medication and making sure they’re taking the right pills at the right time,” Fossaceca said.

Most people are just worried about their co-pay and have no idea if the pharmacist is making money.

Walgreens has bought Fossaceca’s leftover drugs and files. He was telling customers personally.

“Just tough to make ends meet with the way that we’re getting paid from insurance companies. Breaks my heart,” Fossaceca said.

On his final day, Fossaceca was showing customers pictures of his 1-year-old daughter. He already had peace that his father would approve of the tough business decision.

“You know, we gave this a good shot. But with all the stress and financial instability of this business, I never know how much money is coming in because of the way it’s run. I think that he would understand and want me to do what’s right,” Fossaceca said.

Fossaceca doesn’t know what the next direction is for him right now, but he still has a heart for helping people.

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