My local Safeway pharmacy began closing for lunch between 1:00 and 2:00 every day more than a year ago. I find this annoying as many times I have forgotten that they would be closed and have shown up at 1:00 just as they are closing. Even more annoying is coming back at 2:00 as there is always a long line of people who have been waiting around since 1:00 or 1:30. The Wall Street Journal reported today that this is a phenomenon all across the country as there is a shortage of pharmacists. CVS has announced that starting in March it will cut or shift hours at about two-thirds of its 9,000 U.S. locations. Walmart also announced it will close at 7:00 p.m. rather than 9:00 p.m. at most of its 4,600 stores starting in March. Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. recently stated it was operating thousands of stores on reduced hours because of staffing shortages. Some customers have complained that pharmacies are cutting hours sporadically. An online community message board for Holliston, Massachusetts—a small town about 30 miles from Boston—was flooded with messages from frustrated customers of the Holliston CVS. “I would go in and there was a note on the door saying, ‘Sorry, pharmacy closed,’” Audra Friend told The Wall Street Journal. She said it would be better to have consistently shorter hours if that means fewer unexpected closures. “At least that way we’re not just showing up at CVS to find out the pharmacist isn’t there. “
Amazon Pharmacy Gets Good Reviews On Prescription Pricing
Amazon Pharmacy jumped into the online prescription market in November, entering another highly competitive—but lucrative—space. The digital pharmacy offers free two-day home delivery and AARP Bulletin in their January/February 2021 Issue (page four) gave the service high marks. “We compared benefit prices against other retail options and found that its prices were often—but not always—cheaper,” said the AARP Bulletin article.