Pharmacy Hours Cut Short: CVS and Walmart Closing Early Due to Nationwide Pharmacist Shortage

Minha D.

CVS and Walmart, two of the biggest chain drugstores, have announced that they will be cutting pharmacy hours this spring due to the nationwide pharmacist shortage.

Pharmacy hours have been reduced in the past, including during the height of the COVID pandemic, due to staffing limitations and overworked pharmacists who are choosing to work at hospitals and other employers.

Pharmacist Shortage:

The pharmacist shortage has been an issue for these chains even before the COVID pandemic, and it continues to be a challenge for these retailers. Incentives such as bonuses, increased pay, and even a universal lunch break have been offered to attract pharmacists, but with fewer people applying to pharmacy school, the situation may only worsen in the future.

Cuts To Pharmacy Hours:

CVS plans to cut hours at around 9,000 stores, with the new hours varying by location. The reduced hours will also take effect when stores have only one pharmacist working. Walmart, on the other hand, plans to shorten pharmacy hours at around 4,600 stores nationwide by March, closing at 7 p.m. every night instead of 9 p.m. The change is being made to improve the work-life balance for pharmacists and deliver better customer service.

Closing Of Stores:

In addition to reduced hours, CVS and Walgreens have recently announced plans to close several locations. Walgreens is closing stores in Chicago, Houston, and Vermont, with the aim of creating the "right network of stores in the right locations." CVS is closing a store in Washington D.C. for reasons such as local market dynamics and ensuring access to COVID-19 testing and vaccinations for the community.


The nationwide pharmacist shortage continues to be a challenge for retailers such as CVS and Walmart, leading to reduced pharmacy hours and store closures. The situation may only worsen in the future as fewer people are applying to pharmacy school, and pharmacists are overworked and choosing to work at hospitals and other employers.

What Are Your Thoughts?

How has the nationwide pharmacist shortage affected your ability to access medication and fill prescriptions? Have you noticed a decrease in pharmacy hours or the closure of stores in your area? How do you think retailers can better address the pharmacist shortage and ensure access to medication for customers?

Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below!

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I'm a writer whose fascinated by the tiny connections that come together to create a big picture. I write about social interest issues related to the economy, government, history, politics, people, and culture.


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