Burnout and workforce retention will affect the ability of consumers to obtain prescriptions

Cheryl E Preston

Walgreens is making changesPhoto bySachina HoboonUnsplash

Walgreens and CVS are making changes that will affect customers

Last summer I went to a local CVS at 1:10 PM and was stunned to see a note stating the pharmacy was closed for lunch. I had been utilizing this drugstore since the 1970s when it was Super X and later Revco. The hours had always been 8 AM-9 PM for the store as well as the pharmacy with no lunch breaks. The events of the last two years have taken a toll and the hours began fluctuating where the pharmacy opened at 9 or 10 AM. Several times I went to pick up prescriptions for a family member when the pharmacy was staffed only to be told there would be a delay because there was no pharmacist in the building.

I can recall pharmacists at this location as well as two other pharmacies (Downtown and Towers Mall) who had been with the company for years and knew customers by name and now there was a turnover with no one staying long. The CVS drugstore at Towers Mall was once open 24/7 and it's where everyone went with prescriptions after leaving the ER late at night or early morning. Now, this pharmacy closes at midnight and other is nowhere else to have a prescription filled after hours.

Times have changed and adjustments will affect consumers

The drive-thru pharmacy windows are often backed up and inside the store, customers complain of needing medication and having to wait to obtain it. I have not personally noticed the same backlog at Walgreens but there is a steady stream of customers at the drive-through window as well as inside the store and the employees just like those at CVS are working hard to do their jobs. Customers who have prescriptions filled at Walgreens and CVS may soon find they have limited options regarding obtaining their meds.

News outlets are now revealing that CVS and Walgreens will be cutting their hours due to "workforce retention and burnout". The lack of employees makes it difficult to meet the demand and the workers are exhausted. The lack of pharmacists will cause an increased delay in some people obtaining the medication they desperately need. One thing that might help is the advice my mother-in-law was given by a doctor many decades ago. He told her to always call in refills before she ran completely out of her meds. This way if there is a delay she would not have to miss any doses. Many prescriptions can be filled up to 7 days ahead of time.

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I am a native Virginian who writes, about breaking news, nutrition, history, celebrities, and current events that are of interest to those living in the Commonwealth.

Roanoke, VA

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