Butt Drugs closing after 71 years in business

Butt Drugs, a local pharmacy in New Orleans, is closing after being open for 70 years. The owner says that people have been asking why they don't just turn it into an ice cream store, but that's not what made the pharmacy famous.

Butt Drugs closing after 71 years in business

This week, a local pharmacy known for its unique name is closing its door.

Butt Drugs in Corydon (Indiana) will close its doors after 71 successful years of business on Friday 29th April. Katie Butt Beckort, a third-generation owner of the business, told me that she had no choice but to close her doors after struggling for years with reimbursements on medication.

She said, "We have been losing money for years." "We have had some great years but, in the last ten years, there has been a lot of bad times. This year, my accountant asked me: 'Does it seem like you could make it another year?' We discussed it, and I replied, "No, I do not think I can make it through to the fourth quarter."

Beckort stated that the Medicare Part D program's addition of DIR fees -- direct and indirect reimbursement -- made Butt Drugs unsustainable. Retroactive DIR fees, originally created to obtain drug manufacturer rebates have become so high that many pharmacies like Butt Drugs are unable to cover the cost of prescriptions.

Beckort, who purchased the business in 2011 from her father Tom, said: "It has gotten worse and more." "I have tried many ways to compensate for this loss, but at this point I am out of ideas."

Beckort says that while it is easy to make fun of the name, which appears on t-shirts, socks, and other merchandise, the closure of Butt Drugs has no place in the Corydon area, as the community relied on free delivery and advice on how to navigate their insurance plans. She estimated that the pharmacy served between 8,000 and 10,000 customers. Their files will be transferred electronically to CVS by May 1.

Many in the community have been supportive, but they want her to keep Butt Drugs running without a pharmacy. Beckort says that although the name is trademarked by the company, it cannot use "drugs," as this "misleads consumers."

What's next for you?

She admitted, "I have no idea right now." "But I can't make the transition from helping people with their medication to an ice cream shop and sandwich shop. My brain just doesn't work that way.

I've heard so many people say, "Why don't leave it open and turn it into an ice-cream store?" Butt Drugs didn't become famous because of that. It's not. "I have absolutely no idea."

Beckort, her husband, and the building of 2,900 square feet, at 117 E. Chestnut St. that houses Beckort Auctions, are owned by the couple. Butt Drugs employs 16 people.