- “Drugstore employees across the US called in sick on Monday to draw attention to a lack of support from their employers.”
- Drugstore employees across the US called in sick on Monday to draw attention to a lack of support from their employers.
- The extent and impact of the demonstration, planned until Wednesday, remained unclear as of Monday afternoon.
Multiple Drug Stores Reported of Strike by Pharmacists
Dozens of drugstores reported that pharmacists and technicians had called in sick. Lannie Duong, a pharmacist who is helping to organize the protest, said that organizers estimate that “at least hundreds” of pharmacists and technicians, mainly for Walgreens and other major retailers like CVS Health, were involved.
Pharmacists have been working under difficult conditions for years, which were exacerbated during the COVID-19 pandemic due to an influx of people seeking tests, vaccines, and treatments.
CVS Health spokesperson Amy Thibault stated that there were no reports of unexpected pharmacy closures or pharmacist walkouts.
This week’s protests targeted Walgreens and CVS locations in the Kansas City area, following similar demonstrations in previous months.
According to Duong, a clinical pharmacist from California, retail pharmacists are not demanding higher wages or additional vacation time for themselves. However, they do endorse better salaries for technicians. The primary objective of the protest is to provide employees with a secure working environment where they can perform their duties without any risk to their safety.
Pharmacists Perform A range of Duties
Pharmacists and technicians have a range of duties that include filling prescriptions, answering customer calls regarding drug shortages, working at the drive-thru window, and providing an increasing amount of care and health counseling. With the advancement in technology and medical knowledge, pharmacists play a more significant role in the patient’s overall health care. They can help people quit smoking, monitor their blood sugar, and test and treat for flu, COVID-19, and strep throat.