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Veneta's only pharmacy closes

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Derek Humphry (91) has lived in Veneta for 32 years.

Veneta’s only pharmacy closed on January 5th, leaving the township of over 5,000 without a convenient way to fill their prescriptions.

91-year-old Derek Humphry has nine prescriptions he needs to fill regularly, including heart medication. He's been a resident of Veneta for 32 years.

Last year, when Bi-Mart’s pharmacy was acquired by Walgreens, 56 counters closed in three states, including the only pharmacy in Veneta.

Humphry tried several others in the area and was turned away without explanation. He was within two days of running out of his blood-thinning medication when his doctor directed him to a Walmart in Eugene, significantly further away.

"A person like me doesn't drive," Humphry said. "I have to get other people to take me to the pharmacy. So it's quite inconvenient."

Bi-Mart spokesperson Don Leber attributes their exit from the pharmacy business to Oregon taxes on pharmaceuticals and increased fees implemented by insurance companies and pharmacy benefit managers.

"Those two elements have made it so we can no longer operate our pharmacies and make any profits," Leber told KLCC.