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|Articles - August 2011|
|Wednesday, July 20, 2011|
Page 3 of 6
Bob Coulter didn’t get out — he got big and got focused. Nevertheless, his story also helps explain why community pharmacies are on the decline in Oregon.
In 1983, Coulter purchased Red Cross Drug in La Grande, then 18 years later opened Red Cross Institutional Pharmacy, which exclusively serves assisted living and retirement homes — totaling 250 beds. Coulter says he opened Olive Branch, the Enterprise store, because of the “unmet need” in Wallowa County, which has a population of 7,000 people but only one other pharmacy, located in the Enterprise Safeway. It takes about 3,000-4,000 people to support a single pharmacy, says Coulter, adding that Olive Branch broke even after three months — “a short time for a startup.”
According to the NCPA, about 65% of all independents are in rural areas, and the average owner of an independent pharmacy owns about 2.5 stores. A poster child for independent drugstore owners, Coulter is also quick to identify the rural location as a potential drawback for next-generation pharmacy school graduates. “A lot of it is that people don’t want to live a rural lifestyle,” he says. “This is a geographically isolated county.”
The 21st century desire to live in cities is one of the macro forces bearing down on the community pharmacy industry. The health care marketplace is another. In 2006, for example, the federal government began subsidizing prescription drugs for Medicare recipients under Medicare Part D, replacing what had been a cash business for pharmacies. Twelve months later, 1,500 independents around the country went out of business. Most pharmacists have weekly wholesale drug bills to pay, explains Balo. So in the early days, when Medicare plans took about six to eight weeks to reimburse, pharmacies went under. “For the independent, it’s all about managing cash flow,” he says. Today, most Medicare plans take about two weeks to reimburse.
Friday, July 10, 2015
BY JOE CORTRIGHT
The false promise of economic impact statements.
Monday, July 13, 2015
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A conversation with Greg Lambert, president of Mid Oregon Personnel Services.
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER
Holding a Power Lunch at Veritable Quandary in downtown Portland.
Friday, July 17, 2015
Photographer Jason Kaplan takes a look at Murray's Pharmacy in Heppner. The family owned business is run by John and Ann Murray, who were featured in our July/August cover story: 10 Innovators in Rural Health Care.
Thursday, June 18, 2015
Fireworks are a booming industry, even if the pyrotechnics have turned July 4th into a day fire marshals, and many residents, love to hate.
Monday, June 22, 2015
The Clean Fuels/gas tax trade off will go down in history as another disjointed, on-again off-again approach to city and state lawmaking.
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY SAM BLACKMAN
Storyteller-in-chief with the CEO and co-founder of Elemental Technologies.
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Robert S. Wiggins has joined Lane Powell as a Shareholder in the Corporate/M&A Practice Group. Wiggins is a well-known lawyer, entrepreneur, and investor with more than 30 years of experience leading and advising established and emerging companies in the Pacific Northwest. Wiggins will focus his practice on offering outside general counsel services, including general corporate and board representation, business transactions and capital events.
DEDICATION PARTY: Help the Port of The Dalles celebrate its newest shovel-ready industrial land Friday, July 31, from 1:30 to 4 p.m.