Inflation’s Silent Impact on American Family Businesses

MURRYSVILLE, Pennsylvania—Seventy years after the Ferri family moved its grocery store from Turtle Creek to this Westmoreland County town, the family is calling it quits. The pressures of inflation and the unexpected closing of the Mainline Pharmacy, the independent pharmaceutical located inside their iconic structure, were the final two straws.

The beloved family grocery posted a note on Facebook announcing the end-of-May closing “with a heavy heart” after serving as “a corner stone of our community and ... fostering connections that have spanned generations.”

In February, Mainline Pharmacy, a small independent local pharmacy with 11 locations in small towns across western Pennsylvania, had abruptly closed up shop. The cheery red, white, and blue pharmacies dotted small towns such as Harrison City and Level Green, with most of its employees clocking in for 20-plus years. The pharmacy owners said the plummeting rates of payment from pharmacy benefit managers too often reimburse pharmacies demonstratively less than the cost of medications.

A PBM is a third-party entity that serves as a middleman between insurance providers and the manufacturers who make the drugs.

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