Coleman pharmacy owner blames big pharmaceutical companies for closure


COLEMAN, Texas - A pharmacy in Coleman is shutting its doors after operating for half a century, but the owner is taking aim at big pharmaceutical companies for forcing the closure.

"They're making fortunes and it's not right," Robert Tyson, owner of Tyson Pharmacy, said on Thursday.

Tyson, 76, started working at the pharmacy on 215 W. Pecan Street in the late 60s before buying it in 1979. He said over the years, big pharmaceutical companies have made it hard for small independent pharmacists to turn a profit.

Tyson said the pharmaceutical companies place quarterly quotas on certain medications, which hurts sales. In his opinion, the quotas are ethically wrong.

"The big pharma needs to change their mission statement. They're no longer in the healthcare business, they're in the pill-selling business," Tyson said.

With Tyson Pharmacy closing, the city will have only one pharmacy.

Although he's been planning for several years to close his business, Tyson said Dairy Queen's recent departure represents some of the underlying economic issues affecting Coleman.

"We've lost some population, the economics have changed," he said.

As the cost of doing business goes up, Tyson said big pharmaceutical companies have been annually cutting the reimbursement checks pharmacists receive to keep the lights on.

"We filled prescriptions in the last year where we only made 12 or 13 cents," Tyson said.

He called big pharmaceutical companies a Goliath in the healthcare industry, and he said they hold so much political clout that he isn't optimistic about any upcoming changes.

Robert Tyson will be closing Tyson Pharmacy for good at the end of November.