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Another of Buffalo's long-time, family-owned and operated drug stores has closed its doors.

Neuman's Leader Pharmacy, a mainstay at 2264 Genesee St. since 1931, is no more. Its prescription business and inventory have been sold to the Rite Aid Pharmacy about three blocks away at 1185 Genesee.

Pharmacist-owner Zallie Garten, who has been in charge of the business since 1958, laid the reason for his sell-off squarely at the feet of insurance companies.

"I had no problem with competition. This sale was due to the health insurance industry," Garten said. "When you're asked to accept $84.85 for a drug which costs $84, how can you wake up in the morning and look at yourself in the mirror? I just don't want to work for nothing."

Garten's father-in-law, Edwin Neuman, started the business in 1927 across the street from the present location, which he built in 1931.

Garten, at least for the foreseeable future, plans to work for Rite Aid, hoping to smooth the transition for his many long-time customers. His seven employees also have been offered employment with the drug chain.

The two-story building on Genesee, which includes second-floor apartments, will be sold or leased, Garten said.

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