‘Pharmageddon’ could close pharmacies as protest spreads
The term “pharmageddon” has been used to describe a potential crisis faced by small, independent merchants in the pharmaceutical industry. Growing discontent among many independent pharmacies and pharmacists has resulted in a growing movement to close their doors in protest over what they perceive as unfair practices by the pharmaceutical giants. These coordinated protests could have a profound impact on the small mom-and-pop pharmacies that often provide needed services for those living in rural and underserved areas. If successful, closing the pharmacies could lead to closures of other businesses in the communities they serve, resulting in job losses that would have a significant impact on local economies. The relationship between independent pharmacists and the pharmaceutical industry has been strained for some time. In recent years, pharmacists have complained of practices they see as unfair, such as the high costs of medications and limited transparency into reimbursements for medications. This discontent has spread to other parts of the industry, culminating in calls for “Pharmageddon” to take action. In recent weeks, pharmacies in dozens of states have organized and declared their intentions to close their doors for the entire day on May 6 in protest of what they see as threat to their livelihood. It remains to be seen how this coordinated protest will spread and ultimately play out.