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The walkout is supposed to last three days at various locations across the U.S. Planned rallies will also be held, according to pharmacists.

Are we on the verge of ‘Pharmageddon?’

Pharmacists from Walgreens and other retailers planning another walkout

Pharmacy workers at Walgreens and other retailers are again planning to walk off the job due to poor working conditions, according to CNBC.

Referred to as “Pharmageddon” by some pharmacists, the walkout would mark the third time that pharmacy personnel have staged a protest to get their point across about a working environment where employees say they are largely understaffed and underpaid.  

Talks of a national walkout involving pharmacists at multiple big box pharmacy chains first surfaced a couple of weeks ago.

CVS pharmacists in the Kansas City, Mo. area first walked out on the job back in late September, and that was followed by Walgreens workers holding scattered protests.

This time, the walkout is supposed to last three days (Monday through Wednesday) at various locations across the U.S. Planned rallies will also be held, according to pharmacists.

“We recognize the incredible work our pharmacists do every day, especially this time of year when there is increased demand for their services across communities,” Walgreens said in a statement to Supermarket News.

“Our leaders in our pharmacies are regularly listening to concerns and frustrations and responding to feedback. We have taken steps over the last two years to improve pharmacists’ experience, advance the profession, and enable them to provide the high value care they were trained to do.

“Nearly all of our 24,000 pharmacists continue to serve their customers and communities this week, and we thank them for it.

Speaking at the Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit in California earlier this month, CVS CEO Karen Lynch pointed to two reasons for the Kansas City walkout: burnout from the pandemic and a high demand for COVID-19 boosters this fall.

However, pharmacists say it is not just a demand for COVID-19 boosters that has caused them to reach a breaking point. The fall season is particularly busy with a rise in respiratory illnesses, in addition to those seeking vaccines for the flu and RSV, the pharmacists say.

During the Kansas City walkout, CVS’s Chief Pharmacy Officer and President of Pharmacy and Consumer Wellness Prem Shah met with the group of protesting pharmacists and worked out a plan to move forward.

Shah issued a memo apologizing for not acting sooner and promised a series of measures to alleviate concerns. Some of those steps included providing “additional resources” to stores, adjusting appointments, filling open positions, and removing unnecessary tasks for pharmacists.

Another meeting has been scheduled between a representative for the CVS pharmacists and Shah to ensure that plan continues to move forward.

 

 

 

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