NeighborCare shifting away from retail pharmacies

The closing of five Baltimore-area NeighborCare Pharmacies on Friday was part of parent company Omnicare Inc.'s move away from retail pharmacies to focus on its core business serving institutions, an Omnicare spokesman said Monday.

Customers' prescription records were transferred to Walgreens from the closed locations, including 2600 Liberty Heights Ave., Baltimore; 11085 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia; 23 Crossroad Drive, Owings Mills; 4000 Old Court Road, Pikesville; and 325 Hospital Drive, Glen Burnie.

Cincinnati-based Omnicare had acquired the now shuttered pharmacies as part of a broader acquisition of NeighborCare. Omnicare primarily provides pharmacy services to institutions such as skilled nursing and assisted living facilities rather than to individual customers. Most of the NeighborCare business was also institutional, but the company also had retail locations, said Patrick Lee, vice president for investor relations for Omnicare, which operates 175 mostly institutional pharmacies.

"Omnicare will still have a presence in Baltimore," Lee said. "It's one of our key markets in our core business."

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