Every chain pharmacy is understaffed, techs are underpaid. Pharmacists are overwhelmed

As a retail pharmacist for 18 yrs with a massive company. I would highly recommend that anyone who can, transfer their prescriptions to a local independent pharmacy

The brick and mortar chains are cheating customers and employees, while earning a windfall of cash for the executives only.

Every store is understaffed, techs are underpaid. Pharmacists are overwhelmed.

Demand better healthcare!

Pharmacist Job Outlook: It’s Worse than You Thought studentloanplanner.com/pharmacist-job At a minimum, it seems as if a net 10,000 pharmacists will be entering the labor force yearly with nowhere to go

CVS: The pharmacy was 1,200 scripts behind and eight days behind in prescription refills


I have read statements from numerous statements from numerous chain pharmacists that typically pharmacist’s shift is from opening to close – normally some 12-13 hr shifts and when they leave at the end of their shift..there is still a few hundred UNFILLED Rxs left in the computer que that was not filled by the end of the day.

I have read from pt statements that when they come to pick up their Rxs after calling in a refill a few days before and it is still not ready and when they do finally get their refill.. the date on the Rx label can be a few days before they tried to pick up their Rx and it was not filled.   Not to justify a such lag time … it could be done so that if a prescriber has to be contacted regarding a refill with no authorized refills left … that process can be initiated and/or if the pharmacy computer system auto replenishes inventory… that would help assure that the needed medication can be in stock… when the Rx finally gets to be filled.

Historically, there has always been what is called a PIC ( Pharmacist in Charge) who is responsible to the state’s board of pharmacy for the legal operation of the Rx dept that they are listed as PIC.  Back when these designations were developed into a pharmacy practice act, the vast majority of pharmacies were independent pharmacy… so the PIC was typically the pharmacy owner.

Some states have changed this designation from PIC to “responsible pharmacist”… and since chain pharmacies dominate the market place… the pharmacist that is responsible to the state’s board of pharmacy for the legal operation of the Rx dept … is now responsible for everything and IN CHARGE OF NOTHING… just the way the corporate management of chain pharmacies likes it.

When a pt patronizes a independent pharmacy… typically they are dealing with the Pharmacist/owner and often the tech staff has been there for years… because the Rx dept is well staffed and the staff is well paid.  We had our own independent pharmacy for 20 yrs and when we sold out to a chain… my primary tech had been with us at least 12 yrs and they said that they would keep her hourly rate and benefits and was told that she was going to be the HIGHEST PAID TECH in the entire chain pharmacy and this chain was in the top 5 in the USA as far as the number of stores that they had.

It is YOUR HEALTH…. It is YOUR LIFE…. It is YOUR CHOICE …. chose wisely !!!

4 Responses

  1. I can not do that for a number of reasons one is I take a pain medication and they will not send more than a month and i must go pick it up, a friend picks it up a I have no transportation, my other medication does come in the mail from caremark and walgreens. I really have no option but to use them. I didn’t realize that Northland was an independent pharmacy but it is not practical to use as you have to park in a lot and go up in an elevator to get med, my friend just drives through Walgreens and picks it up for me. It is easy for him.

  2. What if you have no I dependent pharmacies in our area. We have Walgreens, CVS, and Essentia. That is all. You have no option to change to a local pharmacy they have all closed. What do you do?

    • In that position… personally, I would find the closest independent pharmacy and talk to them about syncing all my meds… so that they are filled on the same day and get all my meds in 90 day supplies and I would make the trip or ask them to send them to you overnight … all the costs of going to the local chain multiple times a month would pay the cost of a single overnight delivery charge. And you will seldom/never be out of meds because of getting them all filled at the same time and 90 days supply for your chronic meds

    • here is a link to find a independent by zip code https://ncpa.org/pharmacy-locator

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