Letter to the Editor Regarding “Why the Death of Mom-and-Pop Pharmacies Has Been Great for Women”

As submitted to The Atlantic

To the Editor,

A recent article left readers with a misleading and overly simplistic impression ("Why the Death of Mom-and-Pop Pharmacies Has Been Great for Women," September 24, 2012).

Today, many independent pharmacies are owned and operated by women like me. Female pharmacy owners/partners increased by more than 50 percent between 2004 and 2009, according to the National Pharmacist Workforce Survey. And, whether owned by men or women, independent pharmacies provide many thousands of jobs for female pharmacists in both full- and part-time capacities, accommodating many working moms with flexible scheduling.

In fact, myself and many female pharmacists who own or work at an independent pharmacy prefer this pharmacy practice setting over all others because it allows us more time to work directly with patients and more autonomy in our practice. Pharmacists express higher job satisfaction at independent pharmacies compared to other practice settings, the same National Pharmacist Workforce Survey found.

In part, that is why patients have consistently been more satisfied, experienced more pharmacist-patient interaction and found pricing to be competitive at independent pharmacies, according to the collective results of surveys by Consumer Reports, J.D. Power and Associates and others.

Today, there's a good chance your prescription will be filled by a female pharmacist, regardless of where you take your prescription. I find that encouraging and I have seen first-hand how independent pharmacies have played a significant and positive role in that change.

Holly Henry, RPh
Past President, National Community Pharmacists Association
Co-owner, Rxtra Care Pharmacy
Seattle, WA

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