Wal-mart announced Monday that it is closing all pharmacies across the United State and that the stores will no longer be selling pharmacy medications.
Wal-marts Pharmacy and Health Center in the Chicago suburb of Oak Park, Illinois, and the West Chester, Pennsylvania, store were among the stores that were closed.
The chain said the closures were due to a growing demand for prescriptions from people who use their own pharmacy and who are not able to use their existing Wal-Marts pharmacy to buy their medication.
“We are taking this step to address the significant growth in the demand for prescription medications,” the chain said in a statement.
The Wal-Men’s Drug Mart and the Wal-Man Drug Mart in Rockford, Illinois will be the only stores that will remain open as of Monday, according to the chain.
“Wal-Mart will continue to offer a wide variety of medicines and supplies to our customers, but the pharmacy will be closed for the foreseeable future,” the statement read.
The closures come after years of complaints about pharmacy pharmacies closing for no apparent reason, including one that shut down in 2014 for more than a month.
According to the American Pharmacists Association, nearly 90 percent of prescriptions for pain medications in the U.S. were filled at Wal-Wal pharmacies between January 2014 and January 2016.
“The pharmacy closures will result in a loss of jobs, and our members are currently scrambling to find new positions,” said Dr. Scott Schoenfeld, an AMA member and president of the National Association of Pharmacy Administrators.
WalMart’s announcement comes as a wave of states and cities are taking steps to close down pharmacy pharmacies.
In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced in February that the city would shutter pharmacies for three weeks in May to allow for the closure of the city’s overcrowded health care system.
The move is being applauded by advocates of closing down the chain’s pharmacies.
“This is a very good move,” said Marjorie Johnson, who has helped organize several drug-free rallies to protest Wal-KMart closures in New York.
“It’s good for the workers and for the community.
We are trying to have a sense of closure and not just one big event, but a series of events that are designed to give people a sense that Wal-Bartards is no longer going to be around.”