Walgreens told consultants to erase mention of pharmacists complaints, review finds

Walgreens executives told consultants to remove information portraying the company in a negative light from a presentation given to an internal Walgreens team, The New York Times reported

Consultants from Mumbai, India-based Tata Consultancy Services were contracted by Walgreens to analyze how employees use the pharmacy's computer system.

The consultants included information in the first draft of their presentation detailing complaints from Walgreens pharmacists, including "errors resulting from stress," which the consultants put among their "high level findings," the Times reported. 

The consultants said in one slide that they were told "pill bottles had been found to contain more than one medication," and that they heard "multiple reports of improper behavior," largely attributed to the desire to meet corporate metrics. 

The consultants were directed by senior Walgreens leaders to delete the slide, the Times found after reviewing Walgreens' internal emails, chat logs and two versions of the consultants' report. 

Amy Bixler, director of pharmacy and retail operations, reportedly told the consultants to delete a bullet point from the report that mentioned how employees "sometimes skirted or completely ignored" proper procedures to meet corporate metrics, according to the Times

A Walgreens spokesperson told Becker's Hospital Review that the first draft of the report included "information gathered through informal engagement with staff at a handful of stores," and that the changes to the presentation were requested "to help ensure that the report appropriately focused on the most relevant aspects of the technology and user experience."

The spokesperson added that Walgreens took "any concerns seriously to ensure the appropriate parties are aware and working to address them," but declined to elaborate on steps Walgreens is taking to address the concerns. 

Becker's has also reached out to Tata for comment and will update this story accordingly.

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