Pharmaca/Medly Will Close All Locations and Shift Prescription Accounts to Walgreens

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The Pharmaca pharmacy, located on Sunset, is closing tonight. All records will go to Walgreens.

The Pharmaca chain, which was sold to Medly in 2021, will close all of its stores and pharmacies this month. Medly, which filed for Chapter 11 in December, was subsequently purchased by Walgreens.

Pharmaca not only filled prescriptions, but also hosted beauty fairs, carried a wide-range of health and wellness brands and had an expert staff of licensed aestheticians, herbalists, naturopathic doctors, and homeopathic and traditional pharmacists. The store carried conventional products such as Tylenol and Vitamin C, but also had herbs and other natural supplements.

A resident visited the Palisades Pharmaca store today, February 9, and was told that all prescription accounts will be transferred tonight to the Walgreens store on Wilshire and 19th Street in Santa Monica.

If customers want to transfer their account to another pharmacy, they need to have their new pharmacy make a call to that Walgreens and the account will be transferred, the resident was told.

This editor also visited the store, today, February 9, and a clerk said that everything in the store is 50 percent off. She said that she felt sorry for the people working in the pharmacy because they only had a two-day warning that Walgreens had purchased it. The clerk said those working in the store found out at the same time as the pharmacists, so clerks will have two weeks to look for work.

According to a story today in Beauty Independent, a retail industry magazine: “Vendors were alerted via email Wednesday that the natural beauty and wellness chain’s 22 stores will close on February 25, followed by its e-commerce platform on March 31.

“In a transaction approved Tuesday [February 7], Walgreens acquired select Medly assets in bankruptcy proceedings, including prescription files, inventory and intellectual property, for $19.35 million in cash, but did not take over Pharmaca’s stores.”

CTN contacted the landlord for the Palisades Pharmaca to see if he knows what will go into that huge space on the corner of Sunset and La Cruz.

Before Pharmaca arrived in 2000, the space was occupied by the Bay Pharmacy (which opened in 1949). Wehiba Kalifa purchased the store from long-time owner Al Green and sold it to Pharmaca in 2004. She said she planned to return to her native Ethiopia to live.

Barry Perzow founded Pharmaca in 2000 in Boulder, Colorado. The Palisades store was Pharmaca’s first store in Southern California. When Medly purchased Pharmaca, it had 28 locations in California, Washington, Oregon, Colorado, New Mexico and Illinois.

Medly began as a Brooklyn brick-and-mortar pharmacy, whose family had been in business since the 1980s. In 2017, Medly started free same-day prescription delivery.

During Covid, the digital pharmacy took off and by 2022, the magazine Business Insider reported, it served 32,000 patients online and in 51 stores, which generated $270 million in revenues.

However, Medly racked up $35 million in losses in the first half of 2022 prior to accounting for interest and taxes, according to a slide presentation obtained by Business Insider.

Beauty Industry reported today, “To cut costs, Medly laid off 1,100 out of about 1,900 employees and planned to shutter about 50% of its stores. Yet, it couldn’t dig itself out of a hole as the pandemic conditions that had accelerated its sales diminished. Mired in debt amounting to about $110 million, Medly filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in December last year.”

Everything is on sale inside the Palisades store, including supplements, cosmetics and cards.

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6 Responses to Pharmaca/Medly Will Close All Locations and Shift Prescription Accounts to Walgreens

  1. Karin (Olson) Espinosa says:

    Oh my goodness….we are being driven to Walgreens over my dead body. I will have everything transferred to Super Care in Malibu (yes, a drive). They are a small pharmacy that do everything in their power for their customers. I know many will not be willing to make the drive but trust me, for those few who do… will not be sorry!

  2. Paula H Deats says:

    ON NO NOTICE, all individuals’ prescriptions have transferred – overnight, without warning – to the Santa Monica Walgreens? Can that be true? (That’s not even the closest one: there is one on Lincoln 2 blocks from the I 10. And I can’t recommend that one, either.) Wasn’t there any approval required from the PP board who had to give even Caruso the green light(s)? Weird. Weirder will be the very “second rate” Walgreens sign on the corner that once housed the (yes, irreplaceable) Bay Theater AND the Bay Pharmacy. Some of us may even remember Aileen.

  3. Sue says:


    The pharmacists only received two days notice–the clerks in the store received two weeks. It seems that Walgreens, through bankruptcy filings, has only taken the pharmacy and not the building. If you have a local pharmacist, they can request your records be sent to them, so you don’t have to go to Santa Monica.


  4. Viana says:

    Pali Rx, on the corner of Antioch and Via de la Paz is great! Owner-operated, great personal service. No need to leave town.

  5. Judith Freed says:

    We have been using Pali-Rx for years and suggest you might transfer RXs there. As stated above it is small, independent, owner-operated and right in the middle of town. My grandfather was an independent pharmacist with his own store so I always try to choose the same.

  6. Loriann Hart says:

    Pali Rx is fantastic for prescriptions. Just saying.

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