North Coast independent pharmacies closing fast

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ASTORIA, Ore. (AP) -- The number of independent pharmacies on Oregon's North Coast has dwindled to one as a chain store has bought out Astoria Pharmacy's accounts.

Steve Choate, the former owner of the Astoria Pharmacy, tells the Daily Astorian (http://bit.ly/zvnUhh ) operating an independent pharmacy is no longer profitable because reimbursements from insurance companies are increasingly limited.

Choate says benefits managers can cut reimbursements and the larger chains can swallow the losses.

Astoria Pharmacy joins a growing list of local, independent pharmacies in Clatsop County that are shutting down because of economic constraints.

The city of Seaside no longer has any independent pharmacies.