From Monday until Wednesday, a total of 4,500 workers at two of the largest retail pharmaceutical companies, CVS and Walgreens, are on strike. The employees began a new three-day strike, which they call "Pharmageddon," in protest against the poor working conditions that prevent them, among other things, from providing necessary prescriptions more easily in order to improve the lives of their patients:
#Pharmageddon has begun.
Retail pharmacists around the US will be walking out Oct 30 - Nov 1st.
A lot of respect for those fighting for positive change and to IMPROVE patient outcomes.
— PharmacistCompensation (@RPHcompensation) October 30, 2023
Thousands of workers at Walgreens and CVS are launching a 3-day walkout today.
Across the country, pharmacists and technicians are protesting low pay, inconsistent hours, and an unmanageable workload.
Upwards of 5,000 workers are striking and protesting at CVS and Walgreens HQ. pic.twitter.com/sXrXnpdvtR
— More Perfect Union (@MorePerfectUS) October 30, 2023
American Pharmacists Association supports 'Pharmageddon'
The American Pharmacists Association (APhA) issued a statement on Monday in which it assured that it supported the temporary work stoppage that pharmaceutical workers in these chains have been carrying out for several weeks. This was explained by APhA CEO Michael Hogue, who assured that this problem was not only happening at Walgreens and CVS. He explained that, little by little, it was also affecting employees of other pharmaceutical companies who are experiencing this same situation:
APhA stands with every pharmacist who participated in the walkout today. The bottom line is that we support every pharmacist’s right to work in an environment with staffing that supports your ability to provide patient care. We know that these are steps you deem necessary in order to be heard by your employer.
For years, you have dealt with workplace issues, leading to frustrations and burnout, affecting your mental health and well-being. I have traveled regularly since my tenure as APhA’s CEO began last summer, and I have seen the burnout and frustration firsthand. While today Walgreens and CVS pharmacies are the focus of attention, I’ve also seen and heard clearly that corporate chain pharmacies are not the only place where pharmacists are being asked to work without adequate staff. I’ve heard from pharmacists in hospital outpatient pharmacies, federal facilities, and mail facilities about the same burnout from inadequate staffing. Inadequate staffing is unacceptable in any setting. In many ways, the recent headline of a USA Today story is true, our pharmacy system is broken.