Pharmacy Deserts: Montana May Lose Some Big Retail Drug Stores
"What is your preferred pharmacy?" It is always one of the first questions a nurse asks you when checking you into an appointment with your doctor. That place is most often the closest drug store to your house. Or the location that is most convenient for you to pick up your medications. However, not all Montana communities have a ton of options when it comes to pharmacies.
Sometimes the local drugstore is the only retail location in a small town. A place to get your prescriptions filled and do a little holiday shopping at the same time. All while getting a sundae from the ice cream parlor.
Soon, Montana may see some drug stores disappear in the state. For some small communities, this may even cause what is known as a "pharmacy desert."
According to CNN
Drugstore chains for decades saturated US cities, suburbs and small towns with new stores. Now, they are closing thousands of stores, leaving gaps in communities for medicines and essentials. Researchers find pharmacy closures lead to health risks such as older adults failing to take medication.
Montana drugstore chains like Walgreens and CVS may soon see multiple store closures around the state. The stores are facing lots of competition from mail-order prescriptions as well as struggling with the retail portion of their locations. Online shopping and retail giants like Walmart and Amazon are eating away at the "front of house" profits for places like Walgreens and CVS. With fewer people shopping at the drug store as well as fewer people filling prescriptions.
There is no word on if Walgreens and CVS plan on closing any Montana locations yet. But, the chances of locations in smaller Montana communities closing may be high.
Great! Now where am I supposed to buy my last-minute Valentine's Day gift or Mother's Day card?
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Gallery Credit: Mike Smith