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'Pharmageddon' and the future of retail pharmacies

A CVS pharmacy stands in a Brooklyn neighborhood in New York City.
A CVS pharmacy stands in a Brooklyn neighborhood in New York City.

This week, pharmacists planned a “Pharmageddon” – three days of nationwide walkouts at CVS and Walgreens. They say they are overworked and understaffed and have been for years.This week’s walkouts come after protests from pharmacy workers at Walgreens last month, and multiple walkouts at CVS stores in Kansas City

Although complaints have been ongoing, the scale of this week’s walkouts was difficult to confirm. And change has been hard to come by. 

Pharmacy worker complaints come as big box retailers face other struggles. Last month, Rite Aid filed for bankruptcy. CVS, RiteAid, and Walgreens locations have been closing stores across the country.

Between overworked pharmacists and large-scale closures, what’s the state of retail pharmacies today? And what do these shakeups mean for communities who rely on them?

Copyright 2023 WAMU 88.5

Michelle Harven