Zitnak closing, not good news
Many people were stunned to read last week’s newspaper and learn that Zitnak Pharmacy is closing in downtown Blue Earth.
A few said they expected something like this to happen, but most were very surprised.
It is not good news. A business closing in a small town never is. It will leave a hole in Blue Earth’s main street.
Perhaps it is a sign of the times. And we are not referring to the national economy.
Dennis Zitnak says the economy did not have as much to do with his decision, as did having more family time.
But small town pharmacies have another pressure on their chances for survival – finding a buyer.
Most young pharmacists coming out of college don’t want the hassle of running their own store. They see the long hours, and the fact that a local pharmacist has to be in the store all the hours that the store is open. They want something easier.
Who can blame them? They can get a job in a heartbeat at a chain store’s pharmacy. There they can put in their 40 hours and go home, and get a six figure salary besides.
Why should they put up with the headache of running the show, and perhaps get paid less?
Small town pharmacies across the state are being sold to either a chain, or closed down. Very few are being purchased by a local druggist, willing to operate the store.
Then there is the problem pharmacists have with dealing with insurance companies. Druggists are usually told how much they can charge for various drugs, and sometimes it is less than their cost for the product.
Not to mention the mountain of paperwork to go along with the insurance claims.
Blue Earth is lucky to still have two pharmacies here – Blue Earth Drug and Wal-Mart. Wells is lucky to have kept their small town drug store.
What the future will bring is anyone’s guess. But we fear the future of the small town drug store is in jeopardy.
Drugs will be dispensed in chain stores, hospitals, clinics and by mail order. If that works for you, then you won’t have a problem.
However, for those of us who like to stop in and get our goods and services locally, it is a problem we hope we won’t have to deal with.