Maine pharmacy board fined Walgreens 15 times for staffing issues

Walgreens has been fined 15 times and CVS four times so far in 2022 for violating Maine's staffing and operating hours laws, The Maine Monitor reported Nov. 30. 

For failing to have a pharmacist in charge or reducing operation hours without notice at 10 locations, Walgreens owes $68,000 in fines, and CVS owes $13,500. Shrinking hours of operation landed the pharmacy chains heavier fines, with each violation amounting thousands of dollars. 

Workforce challenges have strained healthcare for years, and in the pharmaceutical space, retail chains are offering $75,000 bonuses to some pharmacists amid a yearslong shortage of pharmacy technicians. Many pharmacies adjusted their hours of operation during the COVID-19 pandemic, which can conflict with how many hours a state requires they be open. 

In Maine, pharmacies must be open 40 hours a week, according to The Maine Monitor. One Walgreens location was open for 16 hours one week after a fire last November, which was part of the $18,000 fine after the store failed for 18 weeks to be open the minimum requirement.

Editor's note: This article was updated Dec. 2 at 9:10 a.m. CT.

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