Ongoing research on rural pharmacy closures by the RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis was featured in a US News & World Report article, Rural Pharmacies and Closing: Where Does That Leave Patients.
“IN RURAL AND SMALL-TOWN America, independent pharmacies play a vital role for the customers who rely on them. However, U.S. rural pharmacies are dwindling. Since 2003, about 16 percent of independent rural pharmacies – or roughly 1,230 stores – have closed, with fewer than 6,400 remaining, according to figures released in July.
In some areas, no pharmacies exist whatsoever. According to statistics from the RUPRI Center for Rural Health Policy Analysis, 630 rural communities that had at least one independent, chain, or franchise retail pharmacy in 2003 had none by March 2018. Residents may need to travel far to fill prescriptions, or turn to mail-order arrangements without the benefit of in-person counseling or easy ability to ask questions about taking medications safely.”