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Nationwide labor shortage affecting pharmacies

To combat the issue, some pharmacies plan to increase wages, create more flexible hours and increase benefits, according to a study.

MIDDLETOWN, Ky. — According to a study done by the National Community Pharmacists Association, the labor shortage is affecting pharmacies.

Eighty percent of pharmacies are having trouble filling open positions and 60 percent do not have enough employees to run the register, do inventory checks, and other store operations. The shortage is also causing some pharmacies to either push back customer pick-up times to a few days or some are closing periodically.

Kasey Hall recently went to social media to share her frustration on not being able to get her prescriptions after her local pharmacy closed.

"In our mind, the pharmacy is just as essential," said Hall. "the whole reason why you go to a doctor is to get the medicines you need to help you. and so it just doesn't seem like closing is an option without some kind of forewarning."

Hall said after going through the process of getting the prescription no one has been available to help. WHAS11 reached out to the pharmacy to find out why and have not heard back from them. 

Middletown Pharmacy and Wellness offer over-the-counter and home delivery. The owner knows many people in the industry and hears from customers about the delays at other stores. 

Pharmacy owner Mary Boggess said it's not just the labor shortage causing problems for pharmacists.

"Another thing is -- they're all giving the vaccines now and that takes a pharmacist or a technician away out of the pharmacy for certain amount of time," said Boggess.

To combat the issue, the survey states that some participants plan to increase wages, create more flexible hours and increase benefits.

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