Small drugstores, high drug prices


January 24, 2024

Ken Stern

AFTER SOME 130 YEARS THE LA CONNER DRUG STORE HAS CLOSED – Monday, Jan. 22, 2024 was the last day of operations for the La Conner Drug Store. One-sided rules and reimbursement pricing lured customers away from going there for prescriptions and dwindling income meant the closure of the store.

La Conner Drug Store is not the first small-town, family-owned drug store to go out of business in recent years. Rite Aid, hopefully the new home of former employees from La Conner Drug and Island Drug, is itself in bankruptcy.

The conservative advocacy group Association of Mature American Citizens reports that 2,000 U.S. pharmacies closed between 2017 and 2020. Forbes wrote last September, "CVS, Walgreens and Rite Aid were closing nearly 1,500 stores. Between 1980 and 2022 the number of independent pharmacies decreased by nearly 50%."

Most of a drugstore's revenue comes from prescriptions...

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