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resale louis vuitton for a prescription whether it is filled at a chain store or an independent pharmacy. Health insurance companies have taken competitive pricing out of the hands of pharmacists. Complicated reimbursement formulas usually leave pharmacies with a gross profit barely substantial enough to cover expenses and overhead, Rotz said. His profit on some medicines amounts to about 2 or 3 percent after overhead and employee salaries are deducted, and occasionally, a transaction may result in a net loss. Pharmacists cannot pass their costs on to the customers since they co pay a fixed amount for each prescription under their insurance policies. "That customer pays the same co pay no ' matter what," said Molly Lantz, who owns and GINGER PERRY/The Winchester Star Pharmacist Keith Lantz (left) of Lantz's Pharmacy in Stephens City helps customer Lee Roy Fishel of Middletown to choose an appropriate over the counter medicine. Personalized service is one way independent pharmacies compete with chain pharmacies. ing independent since purchasing the store in 1990. They are also committed to diversifying their merchandise so they can continue operating independently and make enough money to cover their bills. The pharmacy is still the strongest part of the business. It brings in about 75 percent in sales, while the gifts and collectibles make up the other 25 percent. "The more diverse you are, the more people it will bring into the store," Keith Lantz said. "It helps us to make a better living," Molly added. ? Madagan once had a thriving sideline selling medical equipment at Gaunfs Drug Store. But sales took a hit after Valley Health opened a medical supplies store which also accepts Medicare for payment while Madagan does not. "I don't want to fool with it," said Madagan, 67, who has worked at Gaunt's since 1958. He