Picking up your prescriptions might get a little trickier soon because the nation’s biggest pharmacy chains are cutting back their hours.
CVS, Walgreens, Walmart and Rite Aid have each announced plans to scale back their pharmacies’ operating hours because there’s an ongoing shortage of pharmacists.
Depending on where you live and how much flexibility you have to pick up your meds, this might become a problem for you. If it does, just know that you have other options.
Online pharmacies are becoming increasingly popular, and they’ll ship your medications right to you — although this option isn’t for everyone. Here’s an article looking at the pros and cons of online pharmacies and comparing six of the most popular ones. We’ll summarize its findings a little lower.
What’s Going On With Pharmacies?
The big brick-and-mortar drugstore chains like CVS and Walgreens are having a tough time keeping their pharmacies open as long as they’d like to. Here’s a rundown of what’s happening.
- CVSAmerica’s largest drugstore chain by revenue, plans to cut hours at two-thirds of its 9,000 locations by March. The new hours of operation at those pharmacies will vary.
- Walgreenswhich includes the chain Duane Reade, announced in December it was cutting hours due to labor shortages. (So did Rite Aid.)
- Walmart plans to change pharmacy closing hours from 9 pm to 7 pm at most of its 4,600 stores in March.
These three chains operate nearly 24,000 pharmacies across the country, so it’s a big deal when they make a change like this.
This is happening due to a shortage of pharmacists. There’s a self-perpetuating cycle where a shortage of pharmacists leads to stressful job environments for pharmacists, which contributes to burnout and more pharmacists quitting their jobs.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts about 13,600 job openings for pharmacists per year over the next decade, to replace pharmacists who are either retiring or leaving…