While hundreds of Massachusetts independent pharmacies have closed statewide over the past few decades, the numbers have slowly started to rebound recently. Todd Brown, executive director of the Massachusetts Independent Pharmacists Association, notes that in fact, the number of independent pharmacies licensed in Massachusetts has actually grown slightly in the past few years. "While a few have closed, a number have opened," Brown says. "We've been averaging a 2-3% increase in independent pharmacies yearly over the past couple of years." One factor he cites is that since the Affordable Care Act was implemented, more people have insurance and are therefore able to afford prescription medication. Another reason, Brown says, is the power of customer service. Independent pharmacies "can compete against chain pharmacies as long as they're given an opportunity to do so," says Brown.