What Will Happen To Customers As Pharmacies Reduce Hours And Close

Currently, pharmaceutical retailers in the United States focus on developing healthcare technology, Coresight Research reported on November 28. A digital transformation occurred in the pharmaceutical industry before the COVID pandemic, but it has accelerated since then.

Coresight says the global pandemic has prompted patients to use digital technologies to manage their health. Drugstore giants are expanding their digital presence in response to consumer preferences and behavior changes.

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How Come Pharmacies Are Reducing Their Hours?

For some people, it’s like a pharmacy closing. Dima Qato, an associate professor of pharmacy, says pharmacy hours are more than just inconveniences. “A pharmacy is no good if it suddenly closes its doors at 5 p.m. or 6 p.m.” USA TODAY reports Walgreens and Rite Aid adjusted hours due to staffing issues. Amy Thibault, CVS Pharmacy spokesperson, said the company is not experiencing widespread staffing issues.

During 2019 and 2021, the number of pharmacists employed by pharmacies and drug stores dropped by 6%. During the next decade, pharmacists will have about 13,600 job openings annually. Lack of pay raises could also be a factor. According to the New York Times, pharmacist compensation fell nearly 5% in 2021.

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Are There Many Pharmacies Closing?

Pharmacies across the country are also closing stores in mass. In 2022, CVS plans to shutter 300 stores, chipping away at its goal of shuttering 900 stores in three years. Catherine Carter, Rite Aid spokesperson, said the chain had closed more than 150 locations across 17 states since late 2021. In terms of independent pharmacies, the National Community Pharmacists Association reports relatively flat numbers between 2020 and 2021.

The association’s CEO, Doug Hoey, says the Coronavirus outbreak and the closure of surrounding chain pharmacies helped stabilize numbers, but he worries it’s short-term. Hoey said, “It might be difficult for these pharmacies that have been making it for a year or two without the COVID vaccinations.”