2004-10-15 / Community

We Need ‘Mom And Pop’ Pharmacies

Representative Anthony Weiner has introduced legislation to stop big chain pharmacies from knocking neighborhood pharmacies out of business. Pharmacy giants like Rite Aid, Duane Reade, and CVS are driving ‘mom and pop’ pharmacies out of business by the hundreds in New York City.

Ever wonder whatever happened to your neighborhood pharmacy with its lower prices and personalized service, Weiner asks. There are 447 fewer neighborhood pharmacies in New York City than in 1990, a decrease of 28%. 

Where’d they all go? During the same time frame, chain pharmacies have seen a net gain of 434 stores, an increase of 263%. You see the worst offenders every day in your neighborhoods and street corners: there are now 203 Duane Reade stores, 153 Rite Aid stores, and 92 CVS stores in the five boroughs. 

Weiner introduced legislation to help small pharmacies compete with the big guys.  Weiner’s Community Pharmacy Preservation Act will:

Let mom and pop pharmacies negotiate like the giants. Weiner’s bill will allow independent pharmacists to negotiate terms and conditions of insurance contracts collectively-to better match the bargaining power of the chains. 

Bring transparency to negotiations with big drug companies.   Weiner’s bill will require Pharmacy Benefit Managers-the middlemen who negotiate contracts between drug companies and pharmacies-to be transparent in their contract negotiations.  This will force them to disclose how much they skim off the top when deals are struck.

Better access to pharmacists.   Weiner’s bill will ensure that recipients of the new Medicare prescription drug program have better access to their local pharmacists. 

“Big chain pharmacies have invaded our neighborhoods like weeds, changing the fabric of our community and putting the mom and pop pharmacies out of business,” said Rep. Weiner.  “We’re going to give the neighborhood pharmacist a helping hand to compete with the big guys.  Some much needed first aid in the fight against Rite Aid.”

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