Change is coming for certain nationwide pharmacies, and it’s time sensitive.
“That is a little concerning, that they are trying to change the times,” said Clevens St. Juste of West Hartford.
About two-thirds of CVS pharmacies will adjust their hours come March. At Walmart, weeknight pharmacy service will end at 7 p.m. rather than 9 p.m. for roughly 4,600 locations.
“I could see that being an issue for commuters who don’t get out until 6 p.m. and then need to pick something up if they’re closed,” said Cassandra Johnson of Bristol.
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In a statement, CVS said the change comes to prioritize service during peak customer demand.
All the while, there’s a whole new player entering the pharmaceutical game.
“Any brick and mortar industry has to compete with internet companies,” said Patrick Gourley, associate professor of economics at the University of New Haven. “I think maybe pharmacy has gotten lucky that they haven’t had to as much yet.”
Last week, Amazon launched Amazon Pharmacy, a new prescription service that allows patients to receive eligible generic meds for $5 a month.
“Our business is built on relationships, and when you start to use mail order like some insurances make you use and you’re getting drugs shipped to you without having anybody to talk to, you’re losing the entire priority of healthcare,” said Todd DeGroff, RPh, owner of Beacon Prescriptions in New Britain.
DeGroff said he welcomes the competition, as yet another motivating factor to always prioritize customer service.
“It has been shown time and time again that more competition is by and large better for the economy at large,” Gourley said.