PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — CVS Pharmacy, the only pharmacy in Peoria’s Southside neighborhood, is set to close its doors on June 26, leaving area residents without a convenient place to get their prescriptions filled.
“I’m going to be heartbroken because that’s my pharmacy where I receive my medication and it’s the nearest one by my house,” said resident Peter Carroll.
A statement from CVS Health indicated prescriptions will be transferred to another location almost four miles away.
“All prescriptions will be seamlessly transferred to the CVS Pharmacy located at 200 N. Main Street in East Peoria, which is less than 4 miles away, ensuring that pharmacy customers continue to have uninterrupted access to service. We understand the disappointment of our closing store’s neighbors and customers. We are committed to the Peoria area and will continue to provide the community with outstanding service at our other stores nearby.”CVS Health
But, some say that’s too far for many Southside residents, where 22% of households in the 61605 zip code area lack access to a car, according to the U.S. Census.
“It’s literally hard and sometimes impossible for elderly people to get way out, get a ride, stuff like that to get their medicine. This was real convenient,” said resident Warith Muhammad.
Muhammad said the closure of the pharmacy will have devastating consequences for people who can’t get their medications.
“It’s sad when it comes to something so serious like people’s medicine. That’s no joke. People can die without their medicine … I’m pretty sure we’re going to be seeing a lot of deaths, you know. It’s sad to say that,” he said.
Rich Draeger, development manager at South Side Mission, said the closure means added stress for a population already overtaxed and overburdened.
“There are plenty of people that live here on the south end and we don’t need to make things more difficult for them. We need to try to find ways to work together to make things a little easier for those folks who already have a lot of hurdles to overcome,” he said.
Muhammad called on local leaders to invest some of the city’s $200 million budget in the Southside.
“We need that money to come to our communities. We need that money down here in the 61605 zip code … It’s just a matter of time before what affects this community affects the whole city,” he said.
In a statement, Peoria Mayor Dr. Rita Ali called the closing “unfortunate” and indicated her office will work to “transform this important part of our city.”