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Pharmacy staffing shortages cause long lines, adjusted hours in WAVE Country

Published: Oct. 11, 2021 at 11:30 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The labor shortage is taking a toll on pharmacies across the country. People in Kentucky and Indiana have reported long waits and closures while trying to pick up their medicine.

Robert Sherrill said he waited in line for about 35 minutes at the Walgreens in Jeffersonville. He dropped off a prescription that needed to be filled by Tuesday as a sign on the door said the pharmacy would be closed on that day because of a staffing shortage.

Sherrill said the staff worked quickly to fill his prescription the same day.

“They’re working pretty hard, they’re running back and forth,” he said. “But those people in there just had good spirits, good minds and stuff so that’s always good.”

Carla Schmidt said she had no choice but to wait.

“Some people can’t wait 24 hours,” Schmidt said. “We need our medicine, so I will wait until I get it.”

Sherrill said he hopes the issue is only temporary because of the pandemic, but he’s worried it could be a long-term issue.

“With it being a career-oriented job, it’s not like a fast-food restaurant where you can get kids (to work),” Sherrill said. “This is people’s careers.”

WAVE 3 News reached out to Walgreens for a statement regarding the shortage in Jeffersonville and at other locations:

“We apologize for any inconvenience and disruption this has created. We are continuously hiring and adjusting continuity plans with the goal of creating minimal disruption to our customers and patients in our 9,000 store locations across this country. In instances such as this where a local Walgreens store may have temporarily adjusted hours or disruption, our store team will direct customers, as appropriate, to the nearest Walgreens for their prescription needs, care and support, to help ensure continuity for our patients. On the occasion a store has a temporarily adjusted hours, it is reflected on the store locator, which is updated throughout the day at //Walgreens.com/FindaStore and on the Walgreens mobile app. Customers who have questions about their medications can also talk to a Walgreens pharmacist using the Pharmacist Video Chat feature available 24/7 on Walgreens mobile app and website.”

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