Some customers report long wait times and reduced hours at local pharmacies

Some customers report waiting at stores for multiple hours.

Posted: Oct 9, 2021 7:45 PM
Updated: Oct 11, 2021 8:45 AM

EUGENE, Ore. -- Some customers at local pharmacies have reported abnormally long wait times and reduced hours at multiple local pharmacies.

"They just have not been able to fill prescriptions like they used to," Keyanoosh Gallagher, a customer of the Walgreens on River Road in Eugene, said.

Last week, Gallagher waited there for about two hours, she said. That was three days after she said the prescription was originally sent in.

"They said they were 900 prescriptions behind," Gallagher said in reference to the pharmacy at the same location.

But she said she doesn't blame the pharmacists filling the prescriptions.

"It's just really sad," Gallagher said. "I could see how understaffed they are and we're ready to find a different pharmacy although I don't know if it's going to be any better at other pharmacies."

Staff at both the River Rd. and Coburg Rd. Walgreens said the pharmacies were operating at reduced hours due to staffing shortages.

"This is a new one for me, them just literally not being able to fill prescriptions because they don't have the staff to do it," Gallagher said.

KEZI reached out to Walgreens for a statement about this situation.

It said in part, "Walgreens continuously reviews staffing levels, as we have throughout the pandemic. In communities where staffing shortages have impacted our stores, we have adjusted continuity plans with the goal of creating minimal disruption to our customers and patients."

Walgreens said it's working to recruit more employees with increased wages and a sign-on bonus.

"We are recruiting team members for pharmacy and retail positions across our 9,000 locations nationwide to support growing demand for COVID-19 vaccinations, testing, as well as flu shots and other routine vaccinations. To support this recruitment effort, we have launched several initiatives, including a sign-on bonus of $1,250.00 for full-or-part-time pharmacy technicians hired now through the end of October. To further invest in our current hourly team members—who provide trusted care and services – we’re providing new incentives and have recently announced an increase of the starting hourly wage to $15.00 an hour. Our team members know that working at Walgreens is about fulfilling our purpose to make our neighborhoods healthier and therefore happier," according to Walgreens' statement.

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