Headline News
Go Back

Braun Medicine Chest now CVS Pharmacy

By Judith Pannebaker BCC Editor

Nearly three years after Braun Drugstore became Braun Medicine Chest, the vintage-style two-toned brick building at 1202 Main Street has undergone a third incarnation. It is now CVS Pharmacy.
From their headquarters in Woonsocket, Rhode Island, CVS officials announced that the company had acquired Medicine Chest pharmacies throughout the Lone Star State from the towns of Azle through Winnsboro - and 17 points in between. And, Bandera could be considered lucky. Ten of the newly acquired pharmacies will be "relocated" and customer prescription records transferred to "corresponding existing CVS-pharmacy stores on Dec. 31." Presumably, in plain talk that means the 10 stores will be closed.
However, along with pharmacies in Alvarado, Elgin, La Feria, Lindale, Mineola, Rockdate, Sulphur Springs and Winnsboro, Bandera's former Braun Medicine Chest will continue to operate. According to the written statement, prescription services for clients of the former Braun Medicine Chest in Bandera will be available during the remodeling and renaming process.
Although Bandera's CVS Pharmacy opened for business on Wednesday, Jan. 2, the store continues to be tweaked and stocked.
While the vintage ice cream shop vignette and other antique fittings and fixtures acquired by original owner Diana Braun from an old pharmacy in West Texas are gone, the wooden framed pharmacy "proper" - where pills, medicaments and elixers are counted, measured and dispensed - retains its charm.
The question that many Braun Medicine Chest customers are asking is: What happened to the antiques? Despite several emails to Neighbor Care media contact Morgan Porter, no answer was forthcoming. Because of the pharmacy's charming interior, it had surprisingly become one of the tourist attractions in the Cowboy Capital of the World.
The acquisition became the county's worst kept secret due to a gigantic sell-out of Leigh's Gifts in December when her charming gifts, candles and Christmas ornaments went for a song. The deep discounts apparently let the cat out of the proverbial bag about CVS coming to town.
Confirmation of the rumors came in the recent press release. Laura Underwood, area vice president of CVS-pharmacy, noted, "By expanding our presence in the state through the acquisition of Medicine Chest's high quality pharmacies, we will offer our customers greater convenience and access to our services. We look forward to working with our new colleagues and taking care of our new customers' pharmacy needs."
According to Chad Michel, chief operating officer of Medicine Chest Pharmacy, the chain will focus on its 10 remaining long-term care pharmacies and retail outlets. He added, "We believe CVS-pharmacy is the right partner that will maintain the same level of quality care in those markets we have divested."
Michel added that the transition will be smooth for both customers and employees and prescription and insurance information will not be interrupted.
Bandera County Auditor Christina Moeller expressed concern about weather or not the new pharmacy would work with the county's indigent and Prisoner Healthcare programs. According to Moeller, Braun Medicine Chest allowed to county to pay according to the Medicaid fee schedule as opposed to charging the county retail prices. The Medicaid fee schedule saves local taxpayers approximately 25 percent.
An email response from Mike Deangelis, CVS media contact, indicated that the company "plans to work with the county on this program and will be contacting officials about our involvement."
However, although Moeller has contacted San Antonio Pharmacy Supervisor Jamie Karczewski regarding the program several times, she said she has gotten no response.
District manager Cheryl Harvey said that employees with Braun Medicine Chest were given an option to continuing with CVS. She said the Bandera team would stay intact, offering an easy transition for longtime customers.