The apparent shortage of pharmacists is forcing CVS and Walmart to reduce pharmacy hours.
As the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic recedes, starting in March, both retailers will cut or shift pharmacy hours in response to staffing shortages and lower consumer demand.Wall Street Journal was the first to report the news.
Walmart, which has pharmacies in most of its 4,600 US locations, will close its pharmacies at 7 p.m. two hours earlier. CVS will shift or reduce hours at approximately 6,000 pharmacies in the United States.
For CVS, the adjusted hours are an attempt to ensure that “the pharmacy team can serve patients when they need it most,” the company said in a statement to CNN. The change is part of “business as usual”, so the opening hours are meeting customer demand, the company added.
In a statement to CNN, Walmart said the new hours were the result of “direct feedback” from pharmacy employees and customers.
A Walmart spokesperson said, “Walmart has a strong and incredible pharmacy team and we are making this change not only to enhance work-life balance, but to maintain the highest level of service for our customers. “Having our team at the times when customers say they want to go to the pharmacy helps us deliver great customer service.”
Walgreens announced last year that it would cut hours at some pharmacies due to staffing shortages.
On Friday, the company told CNN, “We will need to adjust store or pharmacy hours in some locations to balance market personnel and resources to best meet patient and customer demand. A Walgreens (WBA) spokesperson said, “We’ve had good staffing trends over the past few months as we work to bring more stores back to normal operating hours.” added.
Pharmacists are facing shortages, affecting many other jobs, but especially local pharmacies. According to a study released last year by the National Association of Community Pharmacists, more than three-quarters of her community pharmacists are “struggling to fill open positions,” resulting in long wait times for customers.