12 CVS Pharmacies in Kansas City Area Shut Down as Pharmacists Protest

Twelve CVS locations in the Kansas City area, primarily within Target stores, remained closed for two consecutive days as pharmacists organized a walkout to protest against recent corporate decisions that adversely affected their working conditions.

While the pharmacists wished to remain anonymous due to the fear of repercussions from CVS, they revealed that their walkout resulted from a consistent decline in working conditions, which they argue is detrimental to patient care.

Among the grievances raised by the protesting pharmacists are:

  1. Reduced Technician Hours: CVS has substantially reduced the number of hours per week that a pharmacist can have a technician (an assistant) on hand. 

This has resulted in pharmacists working alone for extended periods, juggling responsibilities such as filling prescriptions, handling phone calls, consulting with doctors, and assisting walk-in patients.

  1. Cut Pharmacy Hours: Several Target locations that house CVS pharmacies have experienced a reduction in operating hours, limiting patient access to critical healthcare services.
  2. Forced Reassignments: Regional managers proposed reassigning pharmacists from successful Target-based stores to address staffing shortages at core CVS locations. The decision was met with resistance and led to the termination of the district leader, who refused to implement it.

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Crisis at CVS: Pharmacists Speak Out on Patient Safety and Working Conditions

In response to the walkout, CVS issued a statement citing ‘unexpected staffing issues’ as the reason for the closures and pledged to make necessary adjustments to reopen the affected locations as soon as possible. 

They also advised patients needing immediate prescriptions to visit other open CVS Pharmacy locations.

Pharmacists, however, contend that the decisions taken by CVS are compromising patient safety. 

They argue that the increased workload and reduced support create an environment where errors are more likely to occur. 

These errors could have serious consequences, including the loss of pharmacist licenses, lawsuits, or even patient fatalities due to oversight in checking for allergies or drug interactions.

The pharmacists also criticized CVS’s use of an ‘arbitrary algorithm’ to determine technician hours, asserting that it hinders their ability to provide essential healthcare services.

While some pharmacists resumed work out of concern for patients waiting for their prescriptions, they lamented the lack of communication from CVS management. 

They emphasized that their protest was not driven by financial demands but rather by a call for improved working conditions and basic respect for their well-being.

This situation underscores ongoing concerns within the healthcare industry regarding the impact of corporate decisions on employee well-being and the delivery of quality patient care.

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Source: The Kansas City Star via Yahoo News

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