Fundie Pharmacy Folds

The Washington Post reports:

The Divine Mercy Care Pharmacy in Chantilly proudly and purposefully limited what it would stock on its shelves. But it turns out that no birth control pills, no condoms, no porn, no tobacco and even no makeup added up to one thing:

No customers.

The self-described “pro-life” pharmacy went out of business last month, less than two years after it opened to great fanfare, with a Catholic priest sprinkling holy water on the strip-mall store tucked between an Asian supermarket and a scuba shop.

No word on whether he returned for last rites.

The article goes on to say that Northern Virginia probably wasn’t the right place to have a drug store like this, since most people don’t equate mascara with Satan. Also, that the K Mart across the way has a pharmacy, which probably didn’t help business.

Tiny violinBut above all, I like to think that this represents the dangers of confusing ideals with reality.

The reason most drug stores carry mascara, condoms, and cigarettes is not that they want people to get tarted up, fuck like bunnies, then share a smoke afterwards—though that would probably suit them just fine. It’s the same reason health food stores sell homeopathic supplements, book stores carry Deepak Chopra’s woo, and hotels sell porn flicks: for better or worse, these products make money.

If you run a business, you are, of course, free to choose what you’ll carry. But if you refuse to sell a certain product—especially a popular one—on the grounds that people shouldn’t be using it, then you’re gambling that either a) you’ll attract enough business that that’ll make up for the loss of revenue from the “bad” product (like a vegetarian restaurant), or b) if you drive away the “perverts” who want the “bad” product, there are still enough “good” people left who’ll shop with you that you can still make a profit.

But if most of your clientele wants “taboo” products once in a while and you drive them away, then that’s a recipe for failure. You’re free to bemoan the teens who buy condoms, but wishing your clientele to be different won’t make it so.

This is just like praying the gay away, or pushing abstinence-only sex “ed”. If something doesn’t work, it doesn’t work. And refusing to look at the world the way it really is won’t help you achieve your goals.

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2 Responses to Fundie Pharmacy Folds

  1. Eamon Knight says:

    We have one drug store chain that years ago stopped carrying tobacco, on ethical grounds (ie: you can’t promote health while simultaneously selling a harmful, addictive drug. We made a point of shopping there for that very reason (OK, it didn’t hurt that they also have a store within walking distance of our house). I think most of the other major Canadian chains have since followed suit. They still carried the rest of the “sin-enabling” products, though.

    Of course, they now also have a whole section of homeopathic, herbal and similar dubious-to-quack medicines :-(.


  2. Fez says:

    Eamon Knight Says:

    We have one drug store chain that years ago stopped carrying tobacco, on ethical grounds … they now also have a whole section of homeopathic, herbal and similar dubious-to-quack medicines


    Considering trend lines – I wonder if they’ll bring back the smokes when homeopathy finally kills more people than tobacco?

    [Full disclosure: I smoke.]


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