On Sunday, Rite Aid filed for bankruptcy following slowing sales, $3.3 billion in debt, and expensive opioid-related lawsuits. This news comes with the pharmacy closing around 150 of its locations across the US, predominately in California, New York, and Pennsylvania – which could ultimately impact pharmacies across the board. The drug store announced they’ll transfer prescriptions to other Rite Aid locations or major pharmacies nearby, such as CVS and Walgreens, which have experienced staffing shortages and recent technician walkouts.

All of these factors could have significant implications for consumers, especially given CivicScience data from earlier this year showing that a growing number of Americans are taking prescription medications daily. Plus, new CivicScience data show that over a quarter of respondents (28%) report that someone in their household has been unable to fill a prescription due to the pharmacy being out of stock – up from 22% at this time last year. Interestingly, they’re also more likely to be Rite Aid customers over Walgreens and CVS customers.

How Closures Could Impact Rite Aid Customers

With imminent plans to close stores, how many Rite Aid customers could be affected? Currently, 8% of the Gen Pop say they’ve purchased from Rite Aid in the last month, with another 20% at least ‘somewhat likely’ to purchase from them in the next 30 days. Conversely, 63% are not interested in buying from Rite Aid and 12% are unfamiliar with the pharmacy. 

As expected, the percentage of users and intenders jumps among those who take at least one prescription medication daily. Forty-four percent of these consumers are Rite Aid intenders or users, compared to 28% of the Gen Pop.

Where will these customers turn if their location is closed? One potential route is ordering medications online – an option that could gain traction, as Amazon just announced they’re testing drones to deliver prescriptions to eligible Amazon Pharmacy customers. 

Among those who have purchased from Rite Aid in the last month or are at least ‘somewhat likely’ to in the next 30 days, 45% have used delivery / mail-order services to deliver their prescription and another 32% are at least ‘somewhat likely’ to try it in the future – both figures higher than the Gen Pop averages.

While it’s still uncertain how much Rite Aid closures will impact current customers and pharmacies as a whole, data show that a large number of customers could potentially seek out online ordering and delivery, whether to avoid drug shortages or as a result of their Rite Aid pharmacy being closed.

As the closures unfold, CivicScience will continue to track the latest pharmacy insights and trends. If you’re interested in seeing more insights like these or want to learn how you can leverage our database of over 4 million U.S. survey responses daily, let’s chat.