UPDATED: CVS Pharmacist: dies on the job from Cardiac MI – forced to wait for relief pharmacist to show up

You can find this at Scottsburg, Indiana I-65 North bound exit



Ashleigh M. Anderson

Pharmacist Ashleigh Anderson died on September 10, 2021. I did not know her but almost feel like I did from the loving and kind tributes of her family, friends, and colleagues that are posted on the website of the funeral home (Soller-Baker in Lafayette, Indiana). I extend my heartfelt sympathy to her family.

Ashleigh was employed at a CVS store in Indiana. While working at CVS on September 10 she felt ill and considered it necessary to leave. She contacted her supervisor who, according to several individuals, responded that she needed to stay at the store for up to 2 hours until a covering pharmacist arrived. One pharmacist informed me that “she was threatened with job abandonment” if she left before then. Before another pharmacist could arrive, she collapsed in the store. Ashleigh Anderson was 41.

I have complete confidence in the information that several pharmacists have provided me. I have attempted to contact CVS corporate headquarters and have left multiple voicemail messages to obtain information about this tragedy and to determine if the company is establishing a memorial fund and/or other tribute to honor Ashleigh. There has been no response. Some allege that CVS does everything possible to suppress news that would result in criticism and questions.

Many individuals provide me with social media postings in which they believe I would be interested, and I appreciate their doing that. Many of the comments are accolades for Ashleigh, the joy derived from working with her, and expressions of grief following her death. Other postings direct anger and outrage at CVS, with the following being just several examples.

“CVS has been killing its patients for years! Now they are apparently killing the staff too?”

“Every time I see the red heart logo, all I can think about is Ashleigh Anderson.”

This tragic situation demands answers and actions including:

  1. A police investigation;
  2. A state board of pharmacy investigation that includes a review of CVS policies and quotas/metrics pharmacists are expected to meet and criteria for determining hours of staffing;
  3. The establishment of a policy by CVS that authorizes pharmacists or other employees who feel ill at work to leave immediately, even if the store must be temporarily closed.
  4. The disclosure of the name of the CVS supervisor who “discouraged” Ashleigh from quickly leaving the pharmacy, and the names of the CVS personnel in the administrative hierarchy above the supervisor up to the CEO;
  5. The establishment by the Indiana and American Pharmacists Associations of a memorial fund in honor of Ashleigh Anderson that would support efforts to protect the well-being of pharmacists and improve workplace conditions.

On the same day as I am writing this commentary, I received in the mail a large postcard from CVS Health to inform me that “We’re hiring pharmacists at CVS Pharmacy stores in Pennsylvania.” It continues: “Do you have a passion for helping patients navigate their health care journey? We do! Join our pharmacists as they bring their heart to patients and local communities.” I accessed the website identified (cvs.jobs/pharmacists) to learn more. I urge CVS pharmacists to review this information to confirm that your experience matches the description. Is this false advertising? We can’t continue to tolerate dangerous working conditions, and we can’t be silent! If it is important that you not be identified as the source of information, make your concerns known to me or others you trust to assure your confidentiality.

Daniel A. Hussar

31 Responses

  1. It is vital to consider whether the injection could have contributed to overheating since prior to the event she was in good health. This is an important factor from a medical standpoint.

    • It’s is vital for you to understand that she was killed because her job refused to let her seek medical help. I’m fully confident you know nothing medical. Seek help.

      • James Foster, why does she “need help” simply because she suggested the importance of asking questions about any and all factors that may have contributed to her death? 41 year old seemingly healthy women do not just drop dead in this manner. We do not know what actually caused her death and the fact that she felt she had to remain at the pharmacy instead of going for help is tragic indeed. Perhaps she could have been saved had she sought help but that is no guarantee either. Her death is not a common one. My 46 year old fiancé dropped dead this way and when the medical examiner contacted me, we all learned that he had an enlarged heart and it was a genetic condition. In addition, he had several energy drinks that day so that he could get through his work shift. I absolutely think those drinks played a factor. Even more bizarre is that on the way home from work that night, he had stopped to check on my brother who was in the hospital at the time. So he was literally in the hospital for about half an hour and he collapsed 45 minutes after leaving the hospital. Could he have been saved if it had only happened an hour sooner as he would have literally been IN the hospital? Unfortunately, we will never know the answer to that question and trying to make it make sense is a futile mind game. When someone this young dies so suddenly in this way, it is very important to consider all factors which may have possibly contributed to her death, especially for the family who desperately need to know what happened to their loved one, be it a vaccine, an over the counter medication, a genetic condition, or otherwise. For you to suggest that she “needs help” for suggesting a vaccine could have been a contributing factor is idiotic and I think we all know who needs the help here. You are just a very nasty human being. We know the vaccine was not a factor because of the date of her death, but that is neither here nor there. By the way, what are your medical credentials? You don’t have any, it is obvious from the way you write….you are absolutely ridiculous.

  2. […] Here is another very sad story of a mid-40’s female Pharmacist that did not get to finish her shift … UPDATED: CVS Pharmacist: dies on the job from Cardiac MI – forced to wait for relief pharmacist to… […]

  3. Dear Anonymous . An emergent medical episode requires immediate attention. Assume, inter alia,
    that it was vaccine related. Does that change the duty of her employer to assist her in her moment of need? Would CVS not assist a valued customer in the same dire straits? Do you grasp the true issue here. Or are you a CVS corporate shill?


  4. I’m late to the article here, but why didn’t her co-workers call 911 and get an ambulance there?

  5. […] UPDATED: CVS Pharmacist: dies on the job from Cardiac MI – forced to wait for relief pharmacist to s… […]

  6. Hmmmm, her father’s story seems to be different from this original blog post…….

  7. What happened with Ashleigh is horrific!!! Her last hours on Earth with no compassion from her employer for not feeling well. What kind of country are we living in when Corporate has created a concentration camp ok’ed by politicians just so they get re-elected and paid back in all kinds of ways. Like my best friend keeps saying, these companies are not only not giving to find any decent employees, there are going to stir up a riot of civil unrest for things just like this unnecessary mortality.

  8. Worked for Walgreens for over 3 1/2 years. They canned me because I refused to do immunizations. I will never work for another chain, in fact, I’m getting out of this profession this year. I can’t take it any more. Currently work in an industrial setting where we have check at least 3,200 Rx’s a shift (8 hours) among other things we’re squeezed to do. These companies have zero moral integrity and their only focus is on the money caring less about your humanity. They are all gross.

  9. Ashleigh was having chest pains and thought she was having a heart attack. She told her scheduler and the scheduler told her to lock down the pharmacy and go. She called her boyfriend who was an hour away and said she would meet him at the ER. I don’t know why she stayed but I do know that Ashleigh had a passion for her customers and her staff. I suspect she was concerned that she was 41 years old with no history of heart problems and only two weeks from her last annual checkup. I suspect that she worried that she might close the pharmacy and go to the ER only to find she was suffering from a panic attack or other non heart issue. I suspect that, in the CVS corporate world of quotas, mandates and unrelenting stress, she worried about the consequences if her condition was not serious. I know, without knowing, that she knew she was having a heart attack and that she allowed her environment to talk her out of it.

    Ashleigh was 41 years old but she was still my little girl-will always be my little girl.

    Her Dad

    • Thank you sir for sharing more of your daughter with us. My husband experienced retaliation at the hands of CVS that harmed his health immensely. My heartfelt condolences to you and Ashleigh’s loved ones.

    • Mr Anderson, I am so very sorry for your loss of your precious daughter. I agree with Paul, thank you for commenting and telling us more about her, your little girl. Her story is forever written on so many of our hearts. You explain what pharmacist everywhere do every day:
      “she knew she was having a heart attack and that she allowed her environment to talk her out of it”
      I needed to hear that comment Mr Anderson – so many of us do.

    • My heart breaks for you. So many young people are dying from Myocarditis and heart failure after the vaccine. Can you tell us if she had a vaccine? If so, when? How many? And how long after the shots did she die, if she took any.
      Prayers for you and your family. Unreal.

      • This happened before COVID-19 vaccinations were available. It is well known of the gross under staffing that is SOP for CVS and other major chain pharmacies. Several months ago some chain stores up in the New England area were reported being TEN DAYS behind in filling Rxs and others report being put on hold for 30-60 + minutes when they call into these stores – if they even answer the phone call in the first place

        • The plan of all chain pharmacies is to leave the retail pharmacy business and place the burden on the few independents left. Why? To create drug deserts which will require all to obtain medications from remote mail order pharmacies . It is happening here in Western MA as I write. The independents are filling RXs that are, by some reports , resulting in some 40% being under water- they are losing money on them due to meager PBM reimbursements. Need an Rx? You won’t be able to get it near where you live very, very soon.

          • I just read a article that Rite Aid is opening some pilot stores in small towns – only 3,000 sq ft and has only one Pharmacist & tech – which suggests that the Rx dept will be a Monday – Friday 9-6 operations. > 50% of independent pharmacies are in towns < 20,000 population. And today Walgreen announced that they are starting same day delivery of Rxs and other products... The typical indy pharmacy is 2,400 sq ft and has same day delivery. It would seem that Mark Cuban's pharmacy and PBM's are taking business from chains and the chains are going after what they consider the easiest competition (independents) to take business from.

            • Yesterday Walgreens Boots executives stated that pharmacy dispensing is not a future revenue growth area so I’d be mighty surprised if they will do as you’ve indicated. I used to be disgusted by the actions of chain pharmacies…now I jusy try to be amused. Be well Steve.

              • Walgreens is opening regional highly automated prescription processing centers… they expect to move 25% of prescription filling process to these central filling/processing centers and send the filled Rxs back – the next day – to the local Walgreens stores for the pt to pick them up… all they have to do is educate pts to call in their refills 1-2 days before they wish to pick them up and/or 3-4 days ahead if their Rxs don’t have any authorized refills. Giving the prescriber time to respond to refill authorization requests. I am sure that the “shirts” at Walgreen’s HQ… have no idea of the complications for pts and Rx dept staffing.

  10. CVS or any other retail pharmacy treats employees as slaves.. they call and ask the pharmacist to come and work on their off days with very short notices. They expect pharmacist to stay over time giving very very less technician help and pharmacist will never get paid for the extra hours. They wont consider that Pharmacist stress levels as they have to take care of actual pharmacist work and additional tasks like drive -trus, billing counter work, cleaning and what not.. They are barely providing Tech help for pharmacists and on top of it every week they put lot of pressure with scores for each store and this drags to hell..

    Wish we could sue CVS pharmacy

  11. CVS sucks. Do not shop at this horrible establishment. They don’t give a dam about anyone, only there profits

  12. My fiancé works for cvs as a pharmacist and she works 13 hour days with no breaks no time to eat or even 5 mins to use the bathroom. She rarely has overlap and they even want her to work all day on Christmas! CVS work policy is horrible. She’s just to nice to complain and just does the work cause she gets paid well so she says that’s what she has to put up with but I highly disagree. They’re hiring more because they can’t keep them.

  13. Walgreens has been mistreating pharmacy staff for years due to under staffing and increased workloads

  14. Did she get vaccinated twice? History of heart or clotting issues? Timeline of jab to illness? Was she on the Pill? No one asks the journalistic questions in the present time….

    • Since this happened in SEPTEMBER… there was no boosters being given yet… it is reported that she was not feeling well, but when she contacted her district manager for a “relief pharmacist” .. she was told that it could take up to two hrs for someone to replace her and it was reported that she was told that her job was at risk if she closed the Rx dept and went to the hospital – and reportedly threaten with abandonment of the pharmacy if she did not wait until a relief pharmacist arrived. Apparently CVS was more concerned about the potential loss of revenue if this pharmacist went to the emergency room to address her health concerns… so not only did she lose her job… she lost her life – at 41.

    • Your journalistic questions are of no meaning. If someone does not feel well, he/she has the right to seek medical attention.

      National Pharmacist Union is needed to improve working conditions

    • She didn’t die of COVID- so how is this relevant?? She died of a heart attack

    • What does this have to do with the story?

      • They’re just one of those anti-vax people. They’re not concerned that she may have had Covid, they’re concerned she had side effects from the vaccine that killed her. Just trying to push their anti-vaccine garbage by finding 1 (one) person who confirms their beliefs so they can rant on Facebook about it and call her an idiot for getting vaccinated or whatever. “Vaccines are literally killing people” yeah so are tetanus and polio. Have a terrible day to them.

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