Gary officials demand answers for pharmacy closings

Lawmakers in Gary, IN, are seeking answers to the city's pharmacy closings. Three different Walgreens pharmacies and one Fagen pharmacy have shuttered without warning over the past 3 years, said Karen Freeman Wilson, the city's mayor.

Lawmakers in Gary, IN, are seeking answers to the city's pharmacy closings. Three different Walgreens pharmacies and one Fagen pharmacy have shuttered without warning over the past 3 years, said Karen Freeman Wilson, the city's mayor. Just one Walgreens is left, but since it is located in the center of the city, many citizens living on the outskirts of Gary have to travel up to an hour and a half to fill prescriptions. In addition, there are two Fagen pharmacies still open; however, neither location is near some of Gary's communities in need, nor do they use mail-order systems. Rep. Charlie Brown (D-Gary) recently proposed a bill to the House Family, Children and Human Affairs Committee to establish a study committee to explain why pharmacies are leaving areas such Gary. The problem has intensified because larger companies have bought family-owned area pharmacies and shut them down, according to Brown. Rep. Julie Olthoff (R-Merrillville) suggested that major pharmacy companies should be forced to comply with rules to meet the financial needs of the communities they represent, ensuring low-income people have opportunities to access medicine. Brown's bill passed the House committee by a 7-0 vote.