From pharmacist to liquor store owner

Reimbursement issues is forcing this pharmacist to change careers:

In August 2005, Skaff closed the last of three pharmacies he’d owned and operated for much of his life.

The stores – in the mountain towns of Idaho Springs, Conifer and Evergreen – became bureaucratic nightmares, thanks to the insurance industry and Medicare, which together pay for most people’s drugs. They pay what they want to pay and when they want to pay, said Skaff.

“Let’s say you have a $100 prescription and they allow you to mark it up $5,” said Skaff.

“It costs $7 to dispense it. So it didn’t take too long to figure that out.”

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