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Drugs on shelf As insurers’ drug plans steer patients to their affiliated drugstores, independent shops watch their customers drift away. (Photo: iviewfinder/Shutterstock.com)

Batson’s Drug Store seems like a throwback to a simpler time. The independently owned pharmacy in Howard, Kansas, still runs an old-fashioned soda counter and hand-dips ice cream. But the drugstore, the only one in the entire county, teeters on the edge between nostalgia and extinction.

Julie Perkins, pharmacist and owner of Batson’s, graduated from the local high school and returned after pharmacy school to buy the drugstore more than two decades ago. She and her husband bought the grocery store next door in 2006 to help diversify revenue and put the pharmacy on firmer footing.

 

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