Friday, November 16, 2007

The demise of the corner drugstore

From the Globe and Mail:
For years, John Girgis ran a profitable drugstore in Mississauga, and felt he was doing something good for the community. But today, Mr. Girgis's store is losing so much money he's thinking about selling it to one of the big chains or closing down.

Mr. Girgis blames changes to Ontario's drug pricing regime that prohibited an estimated $500-million in annual rebates that flowed to him and other pharmacists from generic drug companies. Since the new law came into effect this year, Mr. Girgis was cut off from thousands of dollars a year, a crucial stream of revenue for his pharmacy.

"We've been here 11 years and we're part of the community - just to pack up and leave would be devastating to a lot of people," he says. While his business has slid into the red, a Shoppers Drug Mart down the street seems to be thriving.

Mr. Girgis isn't the only independent pharmacist to feel the heat. A study on generic drug pricing issued last week by the federal Competition Bureau will give druggists across Canada more reason to fret. ...more

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