In The American Conservative, ILSR Shows How a Rebirth of Independent Pharmacies Could Cure Rural Ills

Date: 6 Nov 2019 | posted in: Media Coverage, Retail | 0 Facebooktwitterredditmail

In a feature for The American Conservative, Stacy Mitchell and Charlie Thaxton look at how independent pharmacies could flourish and multiply, helping to solve the growing problem of healthcare deserts — if only policymakers would stand up to the big players in the drug industry. 


“Hold on,” Ben Okafor says when reached by phone one afternoon, “I have to find someone to hold the front desk.”

Okafor has his hands full, as he does most days, running Family Pharmacy, a business heopened five years ago in Eastport, a remote town along the coast of Maine just shy of the Canadian border. The pharmacy, which occupies a former laundromat a few blocks from Eastport’s working waterfront, bustles as Okafor and his staff consult with patients and fill prescriptions.

Before Okafor opened his doors, there hadn’t been a full-service pharmacy in Eastport for more than a decade. Picking up a prescription meant a 40-minute drive, and then a trip back. The community had become a “pharmacy desert,” a term that’s emerged in academic circles to describe an increasingly widespread problem.

Read the rest of the feature in The American Conservative.

(Photo: Coastal Enterprises, Inc./Gabe Sousa)

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Follow Stacy Mitchell:
Stacy Mitchell

Stacy Mitchell is co-director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and directs its Independent Business Initiative, which produces research and designs policy to counter concentrated corporate power and strengthen local economies.

Charlie Thaxton
Follow Charlie Thaxton:
Charlie Thaxton

Charlie Thaxton is a researcher with the Institute for Local Self-Reliance’s Community-Scaled Economy Initiative. He studies local economies, small businesses, civics, and their connection to social capital and wellness.

Follow Stacy Mitchell:
Stacy Mitchell is co-director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and directs its Independent Business Initiative, which produces research and designs policy to counter concentrated corporate power and strengthen local economies.