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Thursday, June 30. 2022
I am hearing stories. They can not get enough people to work in the pharmacies.
One theory is that they make you wait so you will buy other stuff, but I doubt that that is a strategy.
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In 2016 I fell ill. After I was released from hospital, I’ve required various medications requiring at minimum monthly, often more frequent trips to CVS.
My wife and I used to joke CVS, was my Cheers, where “everyone knows your name.” CVS had a super positive brand recognition and they were convenient.
Fast forward to 2022. Their automation for letting you know about prescriptions fails regularly. The staff lies about the underlying reason. Buy other stuff? What other stuff? Cold medicine? Completely out.
You Want to pickup a prescription during your lunch break? Sorry their staff is on break.
So I drive an extra mile to the Walgreens. What do I find?
Nice people. Plenty of cold medicine, a prescription notification that works and a staff that apparently rotates through lunch.
Goodbye CVS, hello Walgreens.
I visited a CVS in Brevard, NC, today with no problems. I checked out with one of their automated stations. I got $14 in "Extrabucks' coupons back. I'm very happy with CVS and hope they last.
My local Walgreens, like our local Kroger, is struggling to keep inventory on the shelf. I end up ordering a lot of stuff online for store delivery, and then just go by and pick it up; but quite a few items online are marked 'Out of Stock' for both in-store and online orders. Supply chain problems.
The pharmacy is well-run though, no probs with notifications and prescriptions, even had a vaccination or 3 there recently and it was both easy and free of charge.
Off-Topic: Is anybody else noticing major problems with bill payment systems with credit card and health insurance? I've been tangling with our Health insurance and their online / telephone computer systems have been down for over a week and they can provide no forecast available on when they might return to functionality. One of my wife's online credit card's payment system is having an identical problem - can't process online payments through the banking system.
It smells like a concerted cyber-attack that's getting results - there's absolutely nothing in the news though, not a whisper; and our health insurer is one of the nation's largest. Anybody else?
..meant to add, I have a neice-in-law presently in pharmacy school, and she's testing the waters for career path. She tells me (after trying it out for a student grant), that retail pharmacy work is miserable, completely wretched. She wants to either go into working a hospital pharmacy, or research, preference on the latter.
I have another friend with a daughter pharmacist, working a large hospital who absolutely loves it - and she has the same view of retail pharmacy. Maybe somebody needs to work on the business model a little to improve matters for the workers?
Hospital pharmacy is a zillion times better than retail. You do not have to deal with the public, or insurance companies, both of which are a nightmare.
Son's a newly minted PharmD - he's working at a Walgreens in a small Midwest town. Before he started, apparently the higher-ups at Walgreens decided they needed an incentive to keep people to stay. So they bumped up the pay scale by about 30%.
This happened between hiring, and my son showing for his first day. He's REALLY happy with the new pay scale - though he was willing to work for the old one, pay off loans and all that, but now he's got a comfortable cushion and can pay down his loans faster.
The work's fast-paced, and there's plenty of it - but morale is high (especially since the raise also applied to the pharm techs, too, it seems) and so far he's enjoying the work. Which is funny, because when he was doing the P2 year rotations (which your niece will experience) he thought retail sucked - but in his P4 year rotations he had to do it again and the experience was completely different.
He'd eventually like to get into a hospital setting - but he's good for now.
Good luck to your niece! She's got a LOT ahead of her!
The pharmacy at my CVS is great and no long delays when I go there, approximately every 90 days. the stores themselves always are understocked and understaffed. Usually, I can use self check-out.
I stopped going to CVS around 2017 when I lived in Texas. I’m now in New Jersey, and thank the Lord there are Walgreens near me.
Making you wait so you'll buy other stuff is absolutely a strategy. A relative who worked at Walgreens griped to me about it. The pharmacy techs also don't like filling a bunch of scrips that don't get picked up (and this is a surprisingly large portion of scrips that are called in), and they then have to go through, tediously cancel them out of the system, open up the bags, and put everything back. So they are not even going to start filling the scrip until you get to the store.
And yes, corporate is a bunch of tightwads who would rather hire diversity coordinators than more of the low-level employees who actually run the stores.
My CVS Pharmacy is in a Target and I get a $5.00 off my next purchase coupon for the Target store instead of those three foot long receipts with coupons that are worthless, so no complaints here. It is noteworthy that they never have more than one Pharmacist on duty at a time so between answering the phone, filling scripts and cashing out customers, you have to be patient.
A week ago I dropped in a CVS to pick up a quick gallon of milk on the way home. At $6.29 it cost more than a gallon of BidenGas.
The entire pharmacy staff walked out of our CVS about a year ago. It seems the pace (set by Corporate, not the local manager) is so relentless that they did not have time to follow proper procedures or to do everything they were supposed to do besides filling prescriptions. They have a new staff and apparently Corporate became a little more sensible with its demands.
Ours (in NJ) sucks big-time. It's gotten noticeably worse in the last year or so. Long lines. There have been errors in filling prescriptions. I'd drop them in a New York minute but there is one good pharmacist there whom my wife likes and trusts, so that's not going to be happening any time soon. Clearly some B-school weenie has a bonus that depends on driving personnel costs down to within an inch of total system collapse.
Ditto. In my case, I dropped off a prescription renewal. When I came back 2 days later, I was told they "don't have it in stock, have no idea when it will be in stock, and can't call the warehouse to find out more because that will require 4 hours of labor."
The most irritating thing is that I lost two days before I started calling around. I'd have been fine if they told me those facts when I dropped the prescription off.
I used to love Love's so I was disappointed back when CVS bought it years ago. CVS was never as good as Love's but they were okay enough.
I live in another part of the country. I find Publix pharmacy has MUCH better pricing on their prescriptions, plus, it is a whole grocery store with better pricing on everything else. CVS is taking over the pharmacy function in a lot of other retail outlets, unfortunately. I hope Publix holds out. And they have been buying up pharmacy chains like crazy. I am afraid they will be the only option in town, soon.
It's not just pharmacies. It's everywhere. Businesses just can't get enough staff (and these days, they can't even AFFORD more staff). I don't know what all these non-job-seekers are doing for a living, because there isn't enough government money to keep them going forever.
Walgreens in my town in SW CT has cut hours, closes at 6 pm and closed on Saturday.
I forgot to mention the best thing about CVS: CarePass. It costs $5 per month but you get a $10 reward every month, plus other benefits. It's a no-brainer.
My wife & I used to use Rite Aid for prescriptions. Then one day the pharmacist quits over a disagreement with corporate. Worse, the entire pharmacy staff resigned in solidarity. The replacement staff were months trying to get caught up, so we switched to CVS. Their hours may be shorter, but the CVS staff have been consistently exceptional in their service to us. (This is in a small town in fly-over country. YMMV.)