CVS has closed pharmacies in downtown Whiting, downtown Michigan City, Griffith, Gary, East Chicago and Valparaiso as part of nationwide cutbacks.

The Rhode Island-based pharmacy chain, the nation's largest, is shuttering more than 900 stores nationwide over the next few years. It's shifting its business model to offer more primary care, minute-clinic services and prescription delivery.

It has closed pharmacies at 1301 119th St. in Whiting, 1195 E. Ridge Road in Griffith, 3612 Village Court in Gary, 710 Franklin St. in Michigan City and 3400 N. Calumet Ave. in Valparaiso.

All of them were former Fagen Pharmacy locations CVS acquired in 2017 when Fagen Pharmacy owner Gerald Fagen retired, selling the 45-year-old family business that once had 20 locations across Northwest Indiana.

CVS initially closed 12 Fagen pharmacies as part of the acquisition, rebranding the eight remaining stores as CVS stores. Four of the former Fagen pharmacies it just closed — in Whiting, Griffith, Gary and Michigan City — were located in older or multi-unit commercial buildings and did not have the drive-thrus that are standard at more modern stores.

Company spokesman Charlie Rice-Minoso said CVS was closing stores based on "a deep analytical look at changes in population, consumer buying patterns and future health needs" as it looks to "optimize its footprint."

The pharmacy chain has more than 30 locations across Northwest Indiana, including in Cedar Lake, Chesterton, Crown Point, DeMotte, Dyer, Gary, Hammond, Highland, Hobart, LaPorte, Merrillville, Michigan City, Munster, North Judson, Portage, Rensselaer, Saint John and Valparaiso.

Rival Walgreen's also has closed Region pharmacies in recent years, including in Gary, East Chicago and Calumet City. A few of its former Gary locations have since been adapted into dollar stores.
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