April 22, 2019 The Baltimore Sun
The Halethorpe Pharmacy, a staple in the community for more than 100 years, is closing its doors for the final time April 23, as the owner cited the difficulty in operating an independent pharmacy nowadays.
Owner-pharmacist George Garmer announced in a long, heartfelt letter posted on Facebook about two weeks ago that the store would close. Garmer has owned the store since 2000 and also runs a drugstore in Essex (Independent Drug), which he plans to close April 25.
Garmer said the decision was difficult, especially because the business had been part of the community for so long and he had gotten to know so many of his customers.
“[Catonsville] is where I grew up,” he said. “The customers that came into the pharmacy … many of them are people I went to grade school with and to high school with. Both of my parents taught at Cardinal Gibbons.”
The problem, Garmer said, and also wrote in his Facebook post, was how difficult it has become for independent pharmacies to operate profitably because of the power of large corporations and federal government indifference.
“More and more often, we are paid at or below our cost when we fill your prescriptions,” he wrote on Facebook. “Independent pharmacies like ours are going out of business all over the country. The blame for this lies squarely with our federal government. Members of both parties have turned a blind eye while giant corporations pocket your Medicare tax dollars as their profits and bully small businesses like us out of existence.”