Kaiser closes some outpatient pharmacies amid strike

As about 75,000 Kaiser Permanente workers strike in six states, the Oakland, Calif.-based system has temporarily closed at least 18 outpatient pharmacies across four states.

The system's mail-order pharmacy services and inpatient hospital pharmacies remain operational. In an Oct. 3 statement, a spokesperson told Becker's that Kaiser might expand its pharmacy network to include retail pharmacies to mitigate the closure of outpatient pharmacies.

Per Kaiser's website, here are the pharmacy operation updates among the system's eight regions:

Northern California: "Some of our outpatient pharmacies may be temporarily closed or operating with reduced hours during the strike," Kaiser's website says. A list was not provided. 

Southern California: All of Kaiser's pharmacies remain open. 

Colorado: Eleven pharmacies are closed and 18 remain open. 

Georgia and Hawaii: No alerts were published. No strikes are taking place in Georgia, Hawaii or Maryland. 

Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C.: No Kaiser facilities are affected. 

Oregon and Southwest Washington: As a local union of pharmacy technicians and pharmacy warehouse workers go on a strike that could last up to three weeks, seven pharmacies are temporarily closed and 10 are open. UFCW Local 555 OK'd its strike after months of negotiations concerning pharmacy workers' wages and staffing levels. 

Washington: All pharmacies remain open. 

"Bargaining between Kaiser Permanente and the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions is ongoing, and several agreements over specific provisions have been reached," a spokesperson said about the six-state-wide strike. "Our team is available 24/7 to continue bargaining with the Coalition until we reach a fair and equitable agreement. […] The health and wellbeing of our members and patients is our top priority."

Editor's note: All locations resumed normal operations Oct. 7.

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