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All its prescrptions have been transferred to Walgreens to ensure easy transition for customers

Dave's Prescription Shop closed the night of May 1, but its customers were taken care of with an easy transition to Walgreens.

As with many things happening in today's economy, the cost of prescriptions has grown exponentially, but the rate of payback from insurance companies continues to lag.

"The economics of an independent pharmacy don't line up," said John Sowles who has owned the shop since July 1999. "It's difficult to stock expensive drugs, using credit lines to pay for them and waiting months for payback from insurance companies."

There used to be three independent pharmacies in Canby, he added. "Independent pharmacies [today] don't have the purchasing power or the economics behind us that the larger corporations do. Cash flow is difficult."

Sowles comes from a pharmacy background. His father owned Gary's Rexall for 35 years, which was located in what is now the Backstop building. He has a son that is a pharmacist and all three of his children worked at Dave's while growing up. His wife Debbie was also part of the business, keeping the books and taking care of any problems in the shop from plumbing to everything else, he said.

He doesn't plan to retire, instead he hopes to continue working behind the pharmacy counter at Walgreens. He noted that he'd always intended to work another eight to 10 years and he expects to continue working for that amount of time.

"It's a bummer but it's okay, we can land on our feet," he told the Herald.

While explaining the purchase to the Herald, Sowles continually thanked his customers as well as Walgreens.

"Walgreens is not the villain," he emphasized. "I consider the company a hero because they bailed me out. I can now pay my bills."

His customers, and there are many of them, come from all over the area, from as far as Woodburn and Salem and even Oregon City, said Debbie Sowles. "I took care of whoever came in the door. I like everybody. I like people, and I enjoyed the people and the job.".

"I want to thank the people that trusted us and that let us help them. My main concern [throughout this process] is the patients. There are so many that need individual help. I thank the people that let us help. It was fun, I wouldn't trade it for anything. I hope they come see me when I'm at Walgreens," said John Soles.

He kept the process quiet during the negotiations because he worried that things might not work out. "I didn't want the distraction of whether or not it will go through until it finally happened and the sale went through. I did insist and Walgreens guaranteed all three employees would be interviewed and they would get hired if they meet Walgreens' qualifications."

Dave Wichman is how the shop got its name. He opened the store back in 1973 and sold to Sowles in 1999.

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