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‘Pharmageddon’ walkout hits as 3-day workers’ protests over lack of workforce

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Pharmacists want companies to hire more staff to ease their workloads

The employees from large drugstore chains staged an additional walkout at stores this week from 30 Oct to 1 Nov.

Walgreens, CVS and Rite Aid pharmacists launched a three-day walkout to push companies to hire more staff and improve working conditions.

The majority of pharmacy workers in Kansas City called in sick or walked off the job as they felt it was harder to work with “minimal” help.

Licenced pharmacist, Amanda Applegate, who is also a Director of practise development with the Kansas Pharmacists Association spoke on the plight of the pharmacists.

“This is a nationwide problem that pharmacists have been internally yelling about for years.”

It is known that the workers at Walgreens and CVS have previously staged walkouts in other US cities in September and early October.

The term “Pharmageddon” has been coined by a frustrated pharmacist, Bled Tanoe from Oklahoma City.

The pharmacists have been stressed about delivering numerous vaccines this fall including COVID shots, flu shots, and pneumonia vaccines.

They complained about how only one pharmacist was available behind the counter without any extra help to prescribe medication and monitor blood sugar levels at the same time.

However, Walgreens has opened 11 processing centres around the country to tackle the rising issue.

The centres are said to help process a lot of the chronic prescriptions that patients get regularly which will take the workload off the store pharmacists.

CVS is planning to follow suit too as they are working to give pharmacies room to schedule more staff with improvements in recruiting and hiring.

Amy Thibault, a spokesperson for CVS said: “We’re committed to providing access to consistent, safe, high-quality health care to the patients and communities we serve.

“We are engaging in a continuous two-way dialogue with our pharmacists to directly address any concerns they have.”

Moreover, CVS is shuttering 900 stores through the end of 2024, while Walgreens is planning to close 150 US locations, and Rite Aid is closing at least 154 stores in more than 10 US states.

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