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A Day at the Wal-Mart Pharmacy

Updated on December 22, 2017

Hurry up to wait.

A Day at the Wal Mart Pharmacy

I got a cold that turned quickly to bronchitis. Soon after I was on a road to recovery my husband got very sick. He was more sick than I had been. We took him to the doctor and he was prescribed some medications.

So, instead of going to our regular pharmacy at Walgreens, I chose to save some money at the local Wal-Mart. That was a huge time-consuming mistake. Here is a synopsis of my hours at the Wal-Mart store pharmacy.

I took his prescriptions to the pharmacist. She told me it would be five hours to fill the prescription, so I went home. Six and a half hours later I returned to Wal-Mart’s pharmacy and stood in a short line. There were 3 customers in front of me. Each person stood in that line for at least 45 minutes before they were served. I know this because before the first person in the line was called, I’d stood in that line for 45 minutes. An hour and a half later I was still standing in line, behind now 2 other customers. In 45 minutes the pharmacy talked to one person. We all stood patiently in line. Then I saw my daughter come in. I had shopping to do so I gave her the money to pay for the medicine and she was kind enough to stand in line for me. Another 45 minutes went by. I went to see where my daughter was and found her standing in another line.

It seems that the person who pulled the medicines from the little box was not authorized to also ring up the purchase. What in the heck was she there for then? She told me she got into that second line fifteen minutes before. She said she would stand there and wait so I could finish shopping.

Another half hour went by and I went back to the pharmacy to see my daughter still standing there. No one came to the pharmacy register to ring her out. There were three pharmacists (people in white coats) and two standard Wal-Mart employees behind the counter. Why was no one helping the customers who were standing there?

Finally, after over 2 ½ hours the medications were in my hand and I was ready to give them to my husband. This meant from start to finish, it took 9 hours for Wal-Mart to fill a single prescription and produce it for purchase to the customer, from the time I dropped off the prescription to the time I picked it up. OK, fairness on their side, they said it would be filled in five hours, not six and a half, so I’ll say 7 ½ hours instead of nine.

At Walgreens, I would have dropped off my prescription, told them I would wait for it, and thirty minutes later I would have been out the door with medicine in hand.

What is wrong with this picture? Three pharmacists cannot fill prescriptions in less than five hours per? One pharmacist cannot stand at the register to quickly check out customers? Non-pharmacists should not even be behind the pharmacy counter, isn’t there some law against that? The process that every Wal-Mart pharmacy customer may not be the same that I felt at a single pharmacy counter, but the MUDA (Japanese for waste) that occurred at this particular pharmacy was beyond ridiculous! How can an organization believe that this is acceptable?

Wal-Mart needs to hire efficiency experts to help them with their kiosk sub-businesses like the photo-center, electronics, and pharmacy. The customer is not there to make the life of an employee better. The employee is being paid a wage to help the customer. It’s sad that Wal-Mart is the only economical alternative to the high cost of living today.


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