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BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota-based HealthPartners says it's closing 30 retail pharmacies as well as its mail-order pharmacy operation next year.

The nonprofit health insurer says about 300 jobs will be eliminated, including about 100 pharmacists.

A HealthPartners vice president, Scott Schnuckle, says consumer preferences and pharmacy economics have changed to favor large-scale organizations that can provide extended hours, drive-through pickup and other conveniences.

The Star Tribune says HealthPartners also runs clinics and hospitals in Minnesota and Wisconsin, including Regions Hospital in St. Paul and Methodist Hospital in St. Louis Park. Besides hospitals, HealthPartners runs 55 primary care clinics, 22 urgent care centers and 24 dental clinics.

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The pharmacies are expected to close early next year.

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Information from: Star Tribune, http://www.startribune.com

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