CVS, Walmart among stores cutting pharmacy hours

Pharmacies cutting hours
Published: Feb. 6, 2023 at 8:04 AM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Stores are getting ready to cut pharmacy hours across the country including in Arizona as a new report from the Wall Street Journal says most stores are continuing to face staffing shortages following the pandemic.

Starting in March, Walmart will be closing its pharmacies at 7 p.m., they used to be open until 9 p.m. Meanwhile, CVS isn’t saying yet when they’ll close pharmacies every day but say changes are coming in the spring.

The push is on to get more people into pharmacy schools like at the University of Arizona. While administrators there say class sizes are full, it’s not the same story across the country.

There are fewer pharmacy schools around the nation and schools are seeing smaller class sizes.

And at the pharmacies, pharmacists are taking on a larger role because of the pandemic and not necessarily getting paid enough to show for it.

“So you have immunizations, you have point-of-care testing, you have prescribing in certain instances and also dispensing medications in a safe manner,” pharmacist on faculty at the University of Arizona Amy Kennedy said. “And we want to be doing those things, pharmacists are really well equipped to do those things but when you add all those things and you don’t get reimbursed, you can’t pay your people effectively to provide safe and effective care to patients.”

13 News reached out to CVS for an interview to ask what people should do if their local pharmacies are closed or are facing a shortage but they denied our request.