CVS cuts pharmacy hours: Thousands of locations to reduce hours amid pharmacist shortage
In the midst of a pharmacist shortage, CVS said it plans to cut pharmacy hours this spring.
Roughly two-thirds of CVS' retail pharmacies at its nearly 9,000 U.S. locations will adjust hours beginning in March, Amy Thibault, CVS Pharmacy's lead director of external communications, told USA TODAY on Friday.
The new hours of operation at those pharmacies will vary, Thibault said.
In a notice to field leaders first reported by Wall Street Journal, CVS said its reduced hours will be during times when there is low patient demand or when stores have only one pharmacist at the store.
Thibault told USA TODAY CVS periodically reviews pharmacy operating hours as part of the normal course of business to ensure stores are open during high-demand times.
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“By adjusting hours in select stores this spring, we ensure our pharmacy teams are available to serve patients when they’re most needed,” Thibault said, adding that customers who encounter a closed pharmacy can seek help at a nearby location.
Walgreens, Rite Aid already reduced pharmacy hours
Last month, Walgreens and Rite Aid said that they had adjusted hours because of staffing shortages.
Experts say this shift – along with retail pharmacy closures – can hinder access to prescriptions, especially for low-income patients.
Walgreens, Rite Aid hours: Pharmacies are cutting hours and closing stores. What it means for customers.
"It becomes a vacuum where you have patients who can't get the services they used to get," Cheryl Wisseh, an assistant professor of pharmacy at the University of California, Irvine, told USA TODAY in December. "It's affecting older adults, those of low socioeconomic status and racial and ethnic minorities the most."
Natalie Neysa Alund covers trending news for USA TODAY. Reach her at email@example.com and follow her on Twitter @nataliealund.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: CVS pharmacy hours reduced amid staffing shortage among pharmacists