According to The Charlotte Observer small pharmacies are in peril due to low, slow and in some cases no payment.
For 14 years, Randy Spainhour operated Penslow Pharmacy, the only drugstore in Holly Ridge, a one-stoplight town near Topsail Beach in Eastern North Carolina.
Last fall, he helped customers -- "They're my friends, not my customers"-- switch to Medicare prescription drug plans.
But for two months after the program began Jan. 1, he said, he wasn't reimbursed by insurance companies. When checks did arrive, he realized he was losing money. He closed his store in March.
"I could not stay in business," said Spainhour. "They owe me $50,000."
Democrats work to fix the flaws where Republicans failed. Robin Hayes tried to close the Medicare barn door after Drug Plan Trojan horse had bolted. It seems negotiating power is something we needed after all. Republicans don't want to open the door to let the horse back in case Democrats slip back in with it.
More independent pharmacies, especially those in rural areas, will close because of slow and decreased reimbursement from Medicare, predicts the Association of Community Pharmacists Congressional Network, a national group that represents 15,000 independent pharmacists.