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Letter: New pharmacy proposal is alarming

Going to the pharmacy is not like making a transaction at the bank ATM or ordering a pack of t-shirts online. For many, visiting their pharmacist is an important experience in caring for their own health.

That's why I was alarmed recently when the president of a pharmacy company called Medco said he wanted to replace pharmacists with robots. This is the same company that is already forcing patients to get their prescriptions through the mail and denying them the ability to visit a pharmacy at all.

That kind of business model has me concerned for the health and well-being of families our pharmacy serves in Walker and for the long-term care facility, assisted living facilities, and group homes we serve as well.

Medco wants to merge with another company called Express Scripts, and together these companies would have so much control over the pharmacy market that small independent pharmacies and pharmacies in rural areas may have to close their doors altogether.

I've joined a national coalition, www.PreservingCommunityPharmacy. com, opposing this merger and working to protect consumers' health and their choice in health care services, and I believe any Minnesotan who relies on a pharmacy or cares about rising health care costs should do the same.

Jim Olander

Walker Thrifty White

pharmacy manager