Many people feel a loss when a small local company is bought out by a large conglomerate. We can only hope that the level of service will remain the same or even improve. This has definitely not been the case with the CVS Pharmacy takeover of Owens Pharmacy in Mt. Shasta City, Siskiyou County.

Firstly the former Owens Pharmacy in Weed has closed. This leaves an already small and underserved community without any pharmacy. Now people from Weed must drive or somehow travel to Mt. Shasta CVS, only to find an under-stocked and under-staffed location with long lines. Witnesses have observed frustrated customers storming out of the store. CVS Corporate is to blame for this low staffing, obviously to save money at the local level for the benefit of stockholders and the C suite.

There have been cases where scripts written to Owens have not been honored by CVS. This means that patients have to get new prescriptions from their doctors, if the local Rite Aide is not in their insurance network. Also there seems to be an unavailability of Fentanyl and other controlled substances, leaving those with chronic pain in needless suffering. Many of these problems are caused by California State Board of Pharmacy regulations.They merely issue fines against individual pharmacists instead of helping patients get what they need.

In short, the bungled CVS takeover, coupled with an overzealous and fine-seeking California State Board of Pharmacy has left our seniors, disabled, and chronically ill patients without access to vital medicines. I plead with you to use whatever influence you may be able to bring to bear in improving the performance of CVS in Siskiyou County.

Douglas Hogin

Mount Shasta