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Rural Policy Brief. 2012 Jul;(2012 4):1-4.

Independently owned pharmacy closures in rural America.


The closure of rural independently owned pharmacies, including pharmacies that are the sole source of access to local pharmacy services, from 2003 through 2011 coincides with the implementation of two major policies related to payment for prescription medications: (1) Medicare prescription drug discount cards were introduced on January 1, 2004; and (2) the Medicare prescription drug benefit (Part D) began on January 1, 2006. In this brief, we focus on rural pharmacy closure because of the potential threat such closures present to access to any local pharmacy services in a community. Services include providing medications from local stock without delay or travel, overseeing administration of medications to nursing homes and hospitals, and patient consultation.

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