In February 2019, the town of Albion, Ind. — population 2,500 — welcomed its first pharmacy in more than a decade. The Pill Box Pharmacy opened with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and a plaque to commemorate a special milestone: It would be the state’s first telepharmacy.
Behind the counter, a pharmacy technician would beam orders and snapshots of pills to a licensed pharmacist somewhere offsite for review before doling out medications to Albion residents. It’s a high-tech solution to the pharmacy deserts that leave many in rural communities driving long distances to get much-needed medications. “Just to be in business, you have to generate $25,000 a month in income to meet your expenses,” said John Morr, who as a councilman advocated for three years to get the business set up in his town. “That’s literally impossible in a town of 2,500 people.” By sharing the cost of a single pharmacist’s salary, the idea goes, more storefronts could stay open.
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