Waltz Pharmacy closure causes inconvenience, heartbreak
Waldoboro — Waltz Pharmacy in Waldoboro closed its doors Nov. 17, leaving the town without a pharmacy for the first time in more than a century.
Longtime pharmacist and previous owner Ted Wooster said, "It's a sad day for the town of Waldoboro...We hope to bring [the pharmacy] back as soon as possible, but the transition's not as smooth as it could've been."
Wooster said that the current owners decided to close the business because it was "not sustainable with the current reimbursement rates."
"When you see the same individual two, three times a week, it's quite essential that the services be closer to home because that involves immense expense of both time and money," Wooster said.
Waltz Pharmacy's closing means that people will now have to drive more than 20 minutes to have their prescriptions filled.
Wooster added that people have "constantly" been talking to staff about the transition. "A lot of them would like to see the store reestablished, no question."
According to Wooster, timing of payment is a problem for many Waltz Pharmacy customers, whose prescriptions are being transferred to the Damariscotta Rite Aid.
"Frequently MaineCare has a two-day window for some of the prescriptions. That's the only time in the entire month that you're allowed to get your prescriptions paid for," Wooster said. "And that creates stresses that are lost on a lot of people."
Manager Jan Murray said that neither employees nor customers were given much warning about the impending closure. Murray said that many customers who live within walking distance of Waltz Pharmacy do not own cars, and are consequently unsure how they will now obtain their medications.
"They don't know," Murray said. "They stand here, and a lot of them are elderly, so they cry and they hug us and they say they don't know.
"One lady thought maybe she could get a paper at the bakery, but they don't sell the papers. That's the sad part for the town. The hardship."
Murray says she has "no idea" what will happen next, but hopes that everyone involved will land on their feet. "Things will work out. They always do."
Courier Publications reporter Bane Okholm can be reached at 594-4401 ext. 125 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.