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The local pharmacy will be closing its doors on Sept. 21. Courtesy | Josh Newhook

Nash Drugs, a pharmacy with loca­tions in and around Hillsdale, will close Sept. 21 

The small drug­store chain opened in Hillsdale in 1974.

“As a result of the leg­is­lation and general prac­tices in the pharmacy market, the pharmacy won’t be able to make a profit anymore,” said Anette Frosch, chief oper­ating officer of Nash Drugs. “No company can survive if it is having to provide a service for neg­ative profits.”

Though Nash Drugs also operated gift shops in its Howell Street and Jonesville loca­tions, 94% of its profits come from phar­ma­ceu­tical sales, according to Frosch. The local pharmacy has faced financial hardship as a result of growing pres­sures from com­petitors and phar­ma­ceu­tical leg­is­lation — such as non-com­pet­itive practice rules — as well as pref­er­ential treatment of other phar­macies by wholesale man­u­fac­turers and insurance com­panies, and intense lob­bying by pharma cor­po­ra­tions.

Nash Drugs first opened its doors in 1974 and has since run a small county chain of phar­macies for 50 years. It has attracted a ded­i­cated base of cus­tomers and employees. In addition to its Hillsdale location on Howell Street, Nash Drugs also operates store­fronts in the Hometown Hotspot in Hillsdale and E. Chicago Street in Jonesville.

“Nash Drugs has always been that place where you could receive med­icine reliably or look for that special gift for a friend,” said Kristina Poll, a regular Nash Drugs cus­tomer. “I’ve been coming here ever since I was a child. I’m dev­as­tated by its closing.”

Poll said the dis­ap­pearance of any small business is a problem.

“It’s sad that the small busi­nesses are slowly dis­ap­pearing in towns. There’s just a dif­ferent envi­ronment when everyone knows your name and who you are,” Poll said.

Karen Smith, a pharmacy tech­nician who has worked for Nash for 28 years, said it is dif­ficult for any small pharmacy to remain open in the current industry. 

“I’m sad that we are closing,” Smith said. “We have a great com­munity at Nash and it will be hard to cope with when it is gone.”

While Frosch said she and the other staff members will seek work at other phar­macies in the area, the loss of the Nash Drugs com­munity, where she has worked for 30 years, is a big one.

“This pharmacy has become a lot more than what the name implies,” Frosch said. “It is a place where we have grown fam­ilies, made mem­ories, and created long-lasting friend­ships.”

 Frosch said both her and her staff will find work at another pharmacy, but they are sad­dened to see Nash Drugs closing. 

“This has had nothing to do with our com­munity here, it is simply the state of the industry. We have fought this for many years, but the writing on the wall is clear: you can’t operate a business at a neg­ative profit,” Frosch said.