GREENWICH — Cutie Pharma-Care Inc., a long-term care pharmacy in Greenwich, recently closed, leaving about 45 employees without a job and many in the Washington County community wondering what happened.
According to several sources, including Greenwich Supervisor Sara Idleman, there is a closed sign posted at the company’s 114 Main St. location. Additionally, the state Department of Education Office of Professions currently lists co-owner Daniel Cutie’s pharmacist license as “summarily suspended.”
A license is summarily suspended if investigators believe that “the public health, safety or welfare imperatively requires emergency action against a professional license,” according to the Office of Professions, the body that regulates pharmacy services.
Cutie, who co-owns the business with Marilyn Goulty, CPA, did not return repeated calls for comment regarding whether this is a temporary or permanent decision and the reason for the closure.
After several phone and email attempts to reach the owners since Saturday, Goulty issued an emailed statement to The Post-Star on Wednesday evening:
"After 16 years of dedicated service to organizations serving the elderly and disabled communities, Cutie Pharma-Care was notified on Wednesday, Dec. 12, that our license and that of our pharmacist had been suspended by New York state.
"We disagree with the reasoning behind the state’s decision, but exhausted all initial regulatory processes available to us, and as such, had no other short-term options than to cease operations.
Goulty continued: "We are heartbroken by the suspension and its impacts on our valued customers, patients, and the 45 dedicated employees who worked at our Greenwich, N.Y., pharmacy. We have provided our customers with a list of pharmacies that offer a similar service to ours, and continue to work with them to make their transition to new pharmacies as smooth as possible."
In a small community such as Greenwich, the loss of 45 or 50 jobs hurts.
“Losing about 50 jobs is a lot of jobs,” Idleman said. “They are the kind of business we like to come to Greenwich. It’s always significant to lose 50 jobs in a town this size. They’ve been here at least 15 years and maybe longer.”
Cutie Pharma-Care is a closed-door pharmacy, meaning it does not serve walk-in customers, but rather long-term care providers such as assisted living facilities, children’s homes, rehabilitation centers and home health care, to name a few.
With a somewhat novel approach, Cutie Pharma-Care dispenses prescriptions in a Medicine-on-Time system that packs multi-doses in monthly trays by day and time for convenience and patient compliance.
Several years ago, Cutie and Cutie Pharma-Care were disciplined by the state Office of Professions.
In 2009, Cutie admitted to the charge of violating pharmacy laws and regulations and was placed on two years probation and fined $10,000. As the pharmacy licensee, he also admitted to violating pharmacy laws and regulations, and the pharmacy was placed on two years probation and fined $5,000.
According to state court records, pharmacists at the time were using out-of-date and return medications in packages for other patients.
Because Cutie Pharma-Care is a Medicare provider, the 2009 state action prompted further investigations that led to a string of legal entanglements with the state Office of the Medicaid Inspector General and the state Attorney General’s Office.
According to the Office of Professions, state law prohibits releasing information about the current suspension.
Calls to an attorney who formerly represented Cutie were also not returned.
Since the suspension, some of Cutie Pharma-Care’s customers are being serviced by Omnicare (Royal Care) of Malta. Antionette Baldino, a manager at Omnicare, did not return calls for comment.