Walgreens has been fined $10,500 by the state as a result of two of its Washington County pharmacies closed with out notification, as regulators proceed cracking down on unreported closures and the chain begins to shutter different places in Maine and across the nation.
Walgreens agreed to pay the penalty for 11 days of unreported closures between February and December 2022 at its web site on Dublin Road in Machias, and for six days of closures between Might and September 2022 at its North Road retailer in Calais, state information present.
The Maine Board of Pharmacy regulators stated they started investigating after receiving complaints final December about “frequent closures” on the shops. The regulators stated the corporate violated a requirement that it reviews to the board if a retailer deviates from remaining open a minimal of 40 hours per week.
The Maine Monitor reported in November that Walgreens paid $68,000 in fines final 12 months for violating state staffing and working hours legal guidelines at 10 Maine places. On the time, CVS was the chain with the second-highest variety of penalties within the state, with 4 circumstances and $13,500 in fines.
A number of earlier violations additionally stemmed from failing to stay open a minimal of 40 hours per week, the Monitor reported. Others focused a rule that the shops have a pharmacist in cost.
The Monitor beforehand reported some pharmacists complained they’re overworked and understaffed. There are additionally persevering with complaints of a scarcity of pharmacists.
In the meantime, Walgreens, which operates roughly 9,000 shops nationally, introduced earlier this 12 months it plans to shut 150 U.S. places by subsequent August.
The Bangor Day by day Information reported earlier this month a Walgreens retailer within the Piscataquis County city of Guilford laid off 12 workers when it completely closed Sept. 18.
Walgreens operated the one pharmacy for the city of 1,267 residents on the Piscataquis River, with the next-closest pharmacy six miles east in Dover-Foxcroft.
Even earlier than Walgreens introduced the closure of its Guilford location, Wendy Denney, a neighborhood bed-and-breakfast proprietor, seen lapses in staffing and stock that made it troublesome for her to obtain important diabetes medicines.
Denney stated Walgreens didn’t maintain the medicines she wanted adequately stocked, and even when she tried to make sure the pharmacy had her prescriptions readily available effectively upfront, the medicines wouldn’t be there when she went to select them up.
“I might usually run there to select up my meds as a result of I might get a message on my cellphone [from Walgreens] saying the med was prepared,” Denney stated. “Then I might go to select it up and so they’d be like, ‘Oh, effectively, we’re out of this med. Come again later.’”
The pharmacy grew to become so unreliable that a few months in the past, Denney switched to an internet program to get her prescriptions delivered by mail.
“I spotted I couldn’t depend on Walgreens to have the prescriptions after they have been alleged to have them, despite the fact that they have been repetitious prescriptions,” Denney stated.
In an indication of employee unrest within the business, pharmacists in not less than a dozen Kansas Metropolis-area CVS pharmacies didn’t present up for work for 2 days in September, the Related Press reported. They deliberate to be out once more final week till the corporate despatched its chief pharmacy officer with guarantees to fill open positions and improve staffing ranges, the AP stated.
This story was initially printed by The Maine Monitor, a nonprofit and nonpartisan information group. To get common protection from the Monitor, join a free Monitor e-newsletter right here.