The only pro-life pharmacy in the metropolitan Washington, D.C. area has announced that it is closing because of financial difficulties.
The business’ pharmacist Robert Semler, quoted at the Save DMC Pharmacy website, said he could not stay open past March 4.
He reported that he needed “a couple of hundred thousand dollars and 5,000 customers” to stay open, five times as many customers as the business had at present.
A March 1 letter from Dr. John T. Bruchalski, M.D., President of Divine Mercy Care (DMC), announced that he had been authorized by the DMC Board of Directors to take necessary steps to close the pharmacy due to “financial difficulties.”
“We appreciate the sacrifices that Robert Semler and his family have made in taking on the challenge with us to build a faith-based pharmacy in Northern Virginia,” Bruchalski’s letter continued. “While we are extremely disappointed that we have not been able to provide the financial and customer support to continue the pharmacy operations, we remain totally committed to the ideals the DMC Pharmacy stood for - quality products, excellent service and a family-friendly atmosphere.”
At the time of the pharmacy’s opening in October 2008, Semler said he appreciated that his faith did not have to be “checked at the door” each morning when he started work. He reported that the pharmacy was free of “anti-life messages.”
In an October 2008 interview, DMC executive director Bob Laird discussed the economic realities of the venture with CNA. He reported that the pharmacy was positioned between two large Catholic parishes in the area whose combined parishioners totaled 20,000. Three other nearby parishes had a combined 30,000 parishioners.
The pharmacy stocked standard prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs, and “quality alternative products.” It did not carry contraceptive products and did not recommend them.
It also provided natural family planning materials from the Couple to Couple League.
In January 2009, the DMC Pharmacy fought a bill introduced into the Virginia House of Delegates that specifically regulated pharmacies which did not provide contraception. At that time, Laird told CNA he believed the pharmacy was targeted by the bill.
Because of its closure, the pharmacy’s prescription records were transferred to Virginia CVS Pharmacy. The closing of the DMC Pharmacy has no effect on the other DMC organization, the Tepeyac Family Center pro-life OB-GYN practice in Fairfax.