For many rural Oregonians, picking up prescription medications is an exercise in patience — and frustration. Across our state, patients are forced to drive hundreds of miles to the closest pharmacy and sometimes wait several hours to pick up essential, life-saving medications.

Last year, Bi-Mart made the decision to close all 60 of its Pacific Northwest pharmacies. The impact it's had on wait times isn't just aggravating for patients. It's a "canary in the coal mine" for the future of our state's rural pharmacies.