Wilton pharmacy owner says insurance practices forced him out

WILTON — Following the sudden closing this week of Lang’s Pharmacy stores in Wilton and Weston, co-owner Frank Randazzo took to social media to let customers know the circumstances leading to his decision to close.

“It is with a heavy heart that we are closing Lang’s Pharmacy. After years of struggling with unfair business practices by the insurance providers/pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), it has become difficult to justify renewing our lease,” Randazzo said on Facebook.

PBMs are companies that manage prescription drug benefits on behalf of health insurers.

Randazzo said PBMs were relentless at requiring Lang’s customers to use their own retail stores and/or mail order services by not covering their insurance at independent pharmacies like Lang’s.

“In addition, the PBMs refuse to reimburse us enough to cover the cost of purchasing the drugs, which forced us to take a loss on many of the prescriptions we did fill. We have worked directly with senators, lobbyists, and members of Congress to enable change but to no avail,” he said.

He noted that more than 10 percent of Connecticut’s independent pharmacies have closed in the past year.

“The staff at Lang’s has worked hard to create a legacy of exceptional service and patient care,” he continued. “To stay open would require substantial cuts in staff and resources, which would significantly reduce the standard of service we provide. That is not how we wish to be remembered. Thank you for your patronage. Please know that no one will miss Lang’s more than we will,” he said.

In response to Randazzo’s post, dozens of Lang’s customers on Facebook from Wilton and Weston said they were sorry to see the pharmacies close, and commended Lang’s for its caring, personalized service.

Red and white signs posted on the doors of Lang Pharmacy say, “This pharmacy has closed. You may visit any CVS Pharmacy location to fill your next prescription.”

There has been no official announcement to date that Lang’s, an independent pharmacy, was sold to retail chain CVS Pharmacy.

CVS Pharmacy retail headquarters could not be immediately reached for comment.