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Arab American Pharmacies Struggle to Stay Open

Aramica Newspaper, Posted: Feb 12, 2010

NEW YORK Arab American-owned pharmacies are struggling to stay in business, with some possibly shutting down, reports Aramica Newspaper. According to the news report, recent state budget cuts are squeezing businesses, and have contributed to the closure of 1,000 independent pharmacies statewide in 2009. Last September, the state had a four-percent roll back on Medicaid reimbursement rates on some of the prescription drugs, which is causing independent pharmacies, which make 90 percent of their income filling prescriptions, to lose money, whereas for chain drug stores, that figure is 68 percent. You cant deny someone their medication, so you end up having to pay out of pocket, said Habib Joudeh, owner of Bay Ridge Pharmacy.

The news report emphasizes that Arab immigrants will especially be at a loss since many are less proficient in English and depend on their neighborhood pharmacists for vital medication and on-the-spot medical advice, in Arabic.

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