CVS, Walmart to cut hours at most pharmacies in March

Two national chains will reduce operation hours at their pharmacies this spring, The Wall Street Journal reported Jan. 27. 

CVS plans to cut or alter hours at about 6,000 pharmacies, or two-thirds of its U.S. locations, in March, according to the Journal. Walmart plans to end operation two hours earlier at 4,600 of its pharmacies — nearly all of its locations — at the same time. 

Walgreens has not announced similar plans but has also struggled with the pharmacist shortage. For instance, one state fined Walgreens 15 times in 2022 for staffing issues, including failing to have a pharmacist in charge or reducing operation hours without notice. 

Here's what each company told Becker's on Jan. 27:

  • CVS: "As part of the regular course of business, we periodically review operating hours to make sure we're open during peak customer demand. From time to time, this may result in a shift in pharmacy hours. By adjusting hours in select stores this spring, we ensure our pharmacy teams are available to serve patients when they're most needed. If a pharmacy is closed, a patient can visit any open CVS Pharmacy location for assistance with their immediate prescription needs."

  • Walmart: "Walmart is committed to helping our associates live better. Walmart has a strong and incredible pharmacy team, and we are making this change to not only enhance their work-life balance but also to maintain the best level of service for our customers. This change is a direct result of feedback from our pharmacy associates and listening to our customers. By positioning our teams in the hours where our customers say they want to visit our pharmacy, we are better able to deliver excellent customer service and support our associates as they continue to serve their communities every day."

  • Walgreens: "We have at times had to adjust store or pharmacy hours at some of our locations as we work to balance staffing and resources in the market to best meet our patient and customer demand. Staffing challenges have impacted retailers, healthcare entities and countless other industries over the past 12+ months. We've continued to take proactive steps to address staffing needs, including hiring thousands of pharmacists and other team members, increasing compensation and other measures to reduce workload while creating a differentiated working environment. We have seen positive staffing trends for the past several months as we work to return more stores to normal operating hours."

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