'The workload remains,' APhA says on CVS, Walmart pruning pharmacy hours

With CVS and Walmart planning to reduce pharmacy operating hours at most of their locations, pharmacists will have too much work and not enough time, the American Pharmacists Association said Jan. 30. 

"For pharmacists, because prescribers must continue to write prescriptions, the workload remains unchanged while pharmacy personnel will now have less time to do the work," APhA said in a news release. "Many pharmacists already work after closing to keep up with prescription volume."

CVS and Walmart said they plan to reduce or alter operating hours this spring. It's unclear how these changes will affect patients and pharmacies, but customers will soon have less time to grab prescriptions and receive vaccines, the organization said. 

Ilisa Bernstein, PharmD, the interim executive vice president and CEO of APhA, said it's false to merely say there's a pharmacist or a pharmacy technician shortage: "More accurately, there is a shortage of pharmacists and technicians willing to work under the current conditions," she said. "We need to stop conflating and blaming the current conditions on pharmacist or technician shortages, when it's due to short-staffing and healthcare system faults."

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