Founded in 1960 by pharmacists Lem Nevil and Chester Hanberry, the Medical Center Pharmacy closed its doors for the final time late Wednesday afternoon.
With no prior notice, customers were told Wednesday that the pharmacy would close that day and their prescriptions would be transferred to Walgreen’s Pharmacy on Northside Drive. Patients, of course, can move their business to the pharmacy of their choice.
Signs taped to the inside of the front entrance indicated the pharmacy was closed and carried a Walgreen’s brand, but it could not be confirmed if Walg
reen’s had actually purchased the business. Thursday afternoon, several former Medical Center Pharmacy customers walked to the locked front door and tried to open it. A U-Haul truck was parked in the back area of the pharmacy building.
The pharmacy was opened 61 years ago on Granade St., directly across from Bulloch Memorial Hospital, and built a large and loyal clientele, even after Bulloch Memorial closed and East Georgia Regional Medical Center opened on Fair Rd. in 2000.
Throughout its history, Medical Center claimed several firsts as a local pharmacy, including the first in the Statesboro/Bulloch County area where a graduate registered pharmacist was always on duty, the first that stayed open on Wednesday afternoons when all other businesses closed, the first business in the Statesboro/Bulloch County area that stayed open seven days a week, and the first pharmacy in the Statesboro/Bulloch County area to have a robotic dispensing system.
In 1999, Medical Center added a second pharmacy location in the Cotton Ridge Medical Arts building on Fair Road, but closed that office several years ago. Also, the popular Soda Shoppe inside the pharmacy on Granade St. closed in 2016.
Original owner Hanberry was bought out of his interest in the pharmacy business by Medical Center pharmacist Walter Pease. Pease recently sold his interest to Lem Nevil’s son Jamie, who was the sole owner at the time of Wednesday’s closing.