Editor’s Note: This story was originally Penny Horder.
With the country’s largest pharmacy chains reducing their opening hours, getting prescriptions may soon become a little more difficult.
CVS, Walgreens, Walmart and Rite Aid have announced plans to reduce their pharmacy hours as pharmacist shortages continue.
Depending on where you live and the flexibility you need to receive your medication, this could be an issue. If so, know that you have other options.
Online pharmacies are becoming more and more popular and will ship your medication to you quickly, but this option isn’t for everyone.
Here is an article that summarizes the pros and cons Compare online pharmacies and compare the 6 most popular pharmacies. I summarize the findings of that survey a bit below.
what’s going on in the pharmacy?
Large brick-and-mortar drugstore chains like CVS and Walgreens struggle to keep pharmacies open for as long as they want. Here’s an overview of what’s happening.
- CVSAmerica’s largest drugstore chain by sales had planned to cut hours at two-thirds of its 9,000 stores by March. The new opening hours for these pharmacies will vary.
- walgreensIncluding chain Duane Reade announced in December it was cutting hours due to labor shortages. (So did Rite Aid.)
- walmart will change pharmacy closing hours from 9pm to 7pm in March across most of its 4,600 stores.
The three chains operate nearly 24,000 pharmacies nationwide, so making such a change would be a big deal.
What is behind the change?
This is due to the shortage of pharmacists. There is a self-perpetuating cycle in which pharmacist shortages lead to a stressful work environment for pharmacists, which in turn leads to burnout and more pharmacist turnover.
Bureau of Labor Statistics Forecast About 13,600 job openings for pharmacists Each year over the next decade, it will replace pharmacists who are either retiring or leaving the field to pursue another career.
It’s not just the big chains that are affected. Three of his four in independent pharmacies are struggling to fill vacancies. According to the National Association of Community Pharmacists.
Pros and cons of online pharmacies
What does this mean for you? This means that it can be a little more difficult to receive medication when you need it.
If you’re considering switching to an online pharmacy instead of a brick-and-mortar store, here’s what you need to know. Here we delve deeper into this subjectand summarized here.
Pros of online pharmacies
Pricing and home delivery are the main advantages.
shopping: You can easily find the best deals. With options from companies like Walgreens, Amazon, and Express Scripts, you can quickly check the price and availability of prescription drugs.
Save money: Online pharmacies are sometimes cheaper than face-to-face pharmacies.
delivery: Your prescription will be shipped directly to your home. Many online pharmacies offer free shipping and even auto-refill for free using a script from your doctor.
Cons of online pharmacies
Online pharmacies are great, but they have some drawbacks.
consultation: It may not be possible to consult a pharmacist in real time about medicines. Some online pharmacies offer live chat or the ability to call a trained pharmacy professional, but some do not.
generic: They may replace your branded drug with a generic drug without your knowledge.
insurance: Some online pharmacies require you to purchase certain insurance policies they work with.
Before you digitize your prescriptions, there are a few things to consider. At least you don’t have to worry if the pharmacy is open.