CENTRE COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — A rural pharmacy in Centre County is closing its doors at the end of the April, forcing community members to find another place to get their medication.

Penns Valley Pharmacy will serve its last customers on April 29, leaving a hole in the community after 18 years of service.

“It’s been a staple for a long time, and the residents were quite upset when they found out that it’s closing at the end of the month,” said Daryl Schafer, Township Supervisor in Haines Township. “This has been sort of a short notice closure, so really it caught a lot of people by surprise.”

On Tuesday, owner Nicole Krahling announced the closure on Facebook saying, “this decision was one of the hardest decisions that I have ever had to make.”

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Penns Valley Pharmacy couldn’t be reached for comment at this time.

“What you’re seeing with Penns Valley Pharmacy is indicative of what’s happening with a lot of the smaller mom and pop pharmacies,” Schafer said. “The way the pharmaceutical business works, it is tough for the smaller, non-chain pharmacies to stay in business.”

The move has doubled patients at Thompson Pharmacy in Centre Hall. It’s the closest alternative, located about 10 miles west of Penns Valley Pharmacy.

“It’s been a challenging week so far. We’re very busy. It’s put a little bit of strain on our system,” said William George, Pharmacist Manager at Thompson Pharmacy. “We’ve really had to devote a lot of time and resources to handle this rapid influx.”

This location is one of just five in central PA. George said the patients are coming from all over the region.

“It’s anywhere from as far as Woodward, to Aaronsburg, Rebersburg, Millheim. A lot of people from that area coming down to this area,” George said.

George said the closure will add some hurdles for people to get their medication.

“It’s going to add more commute time to the pharmacy-trip to the pharmacy,” George said. “And it’s going to add a little bit more strain on their system.”