josh6718

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Anyone else hear or find out that CVS was cutting pharmacist hours yet again? Regular hour stores (8 am -10 pm) in our district are going to 9 am - 9 pm.
 

Gombrich12

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It makes sense, I'd imagine they would get rid of some 24 hour stores too. With falling reimbursement you have to make up the losses somewhere. People have gotten really used to the convenience of these chains, but really how many people are picking up scripts from 9 pm to 10 pm?
 

Jibby321

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This isn't new. This happened 4 years ago all the time.
 

Momus

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Anyone else hear or find out that CVS was cutting pharmacist hours yet again? Regular hour stores (8 am -10 pm) in our district are going to 9 am - 9 pm.
More overlap, more sleeping in, and leaving early. What's wrong with that?
 

doublehh03

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Open later, leave earlier. Who doesn't like that.

What sucks is the congestion of work that now you have to do in that amount of time, esp. for non-24 hour stores that do 2700+ scripts.

I worked at a store that did 28-3000 scripts a week from 8-9pm and it was WAY busier than a 24 hour store that does 4300+ a week.
 

bacillus1

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More overlap, more sleeping in, and leaving early. What's wrong with that?
Overlap, really? Usually if a shift is 9-9, 1 pharmacist works that whole shift, at least where I used to work retail. Even know some pharmacists that were forced to work 14hr shifts without overlap or lunch.
 

BMBiology

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CVS executives are looking for a bigger bonus this year.
 

M0df

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I haven't heard these news yet and the timing is weird for CVS. Usually they like to go ahead with these changes January 1st when new budgets roll out. Assuming it is true, it is not good news. Basically the company will expect you to do same amount of work in 2 hours less a day... or there will be enough people coming in early/leaving late to make it company standard. Only possible benefit is tech hours are spread out over shorter time frame. That is if tech hours stay the same.

I also remember when Target cut store hours in a similar fashion, it made part timers out of full timers.

24 hour stores in some cases are there for strategic reasons. They stay open during holidays. They give customers illusion that they still can get their script filled or transferred any time, even if their regular store closed at 6pm on Friday and script is sitting in a waiting bin. From 8-midnight, there are more than enough people picking up scripts in my 24 hour store.
 

Dr Wario

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Open later, leave earlier. Who doesn't like that.

I worked at a store that did 28-3000 scripts a week from 8-9pm and it was WAY busier than a 24 hour store that does 4300+ a week.
Try a store that does 4500 8-10
 

trailerpark

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I hate how retail is all about stupid numbers. When I leave at the end of the day I never check how many scripts we did that day because I really just don't give a shiiiiit.
 

Vatic

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Try a store that does 4500 8-10
That's at least 45 rx/hr. Brutal.


Hey bright-eyed & bushy-tailed pharm grad we've got a prop for ya. Take that newly minted license and run around with a stick of nitroglycerin in each hand for 14 hours straight in one of our state-of-the-art torture chambers.

 
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marscole

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I found that 2700+ scripts per week in 24hr store is killing. 2700+ for non-24hr store... You guys are ROCK!!!
 

farmadiazepine

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I hate how retail is all about stupid numbers. When I leave at the end of the day I never check how many scripts we did that day because I really just don't give a shiiiiit.
That is the worst mentality to have. Whether you work at a chain pharmacy or an independent pharmacy, RETAIL is RETAIL, and the more prescriptions you dispense, the more money you make. When I'm working in the chain, the chain cares about numbers. It's how I get paid. When I'm working in the independent, my techs and I care about how many prescriptions we do, because if we don't meet a certain number of scripts per hour, then we don't have enough money to pay ourselves.

You should open your eyes and see what you actually do for a living. If you don't check how many prescriptions you do per day, then what are you doing?
 

farmadiazepine

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That's at least 45 rx/hr. Brutal.


Hey bright-eyed & bushy-tailed pharm grad we've got a prop for ya. Take that newly minted license and run around with a stick of nitroglycerin in each hand for 14 hours straight in one of our state-of-the-art torture chambers.

Brutal if you work in a chain. In an independent that does 45 scripts/hr with 2 pharmacists and 8 techs, its a walk in the park.
 

zelman

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That is the worst mentality to have. Whether you work at a chain pharmacy or an independent pharmacy, RETAIL is RETAIL, and the more prescriptions you dispense, the more money you make. When I'm working in the chain, the chain cares about numbers. It's how I get paid. When I'm working in the independent, my techs and I care about how many prescriptions we do, because if we don't meet a certain number of scripts per hour, then we don't have enough money to pay ourselves.

You should open your eyes and see what you actually do for a living. If you don't check how many prescriptions you do per day, then what are you doing?
I don't work on commission. I get paid per hour, not per Rx.
 

Gombrich12

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"You should open your eyes and see what you actually do for a living. If you don't check how many prescriptions you do per day, then what are you doing?"

Getting paid the same whether I do 450 or 350? Working for a chain is like that.
 

farmadiazepine

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"You should open your eyes and see what you actually do for a living. If you don't check how many prescriptions you do per day, then what are you doing?"

Getting paid the same whether I do 450 or 350? Working for a chain is like that.
Yea, working for a chain is exactly like that. I work for a chain, and I prefer working in the slower store. Why the hell would I want to work in a store that does more scripts when I can get paid the same amount of money working in a store that does way less scripts? That's working in the chain mentality. I have it too.
 

Old Timer

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And that's why the pharmacy profession is the way it is.
You are soooo wrong. It's always been that way. When I got out of school and worked for an independent that did 600-800 per week. Script count is the ONLY way to measure your results. Especially at lower volume of rxs, a few expensive rxs can skew the results if you look at $$$$. That's the way it has always been as long as pharmacy is a business. What you fail to understand since you are young and ignorant of the past is that chain pharmacy is the result of our health care system and not the cause.....
 

Dred Pirate

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Overlap, really? Usually if a shift is 9-9, 1 pharmacist works that whole shift, at least where I used to work retail. Even know some pharmacists that were forced to work 14hr shifts without overlap or lunch.
It is illegal in my state to have a pharmacist work more than a 12 hour shift
 

BF7

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Open later, leave earlier. Who doesn't like that.

What sucks is the congestion of work that now you have to do in that amount of time, esp. for non-24 hour stores that do 2700+ scripts.

I worked at a store that did 28-3000 scripts a week from 8-9pm and it was WAY busier than a 24 hour store that does 4300+ a week.
Solution for that? Open and INDY right across the street--fill 150 rxs a day with you and 2 techs and make $200K per year.
 

farmadiazepine

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You are soooo wrong. It's always been that way. When I got out of school and worked for an independent that did 600-800 per week. Script count is the ONLY way to measure your results. Especially at lower volume of rxs, a few expensive rxs can skew the results if you look at $$$$. That's the way it has always been as long as pharmacy is a business. What you fail to understand since you are young and ignorant of the past is that chain pharmacy is the result of our health care system and not the cause.....
I am a firm believer that script count matters. Now I work for plenty of independents and I see where money is made and where money is not made. Some of the most successful independents only do 90-100 scripts a day, and because of the quality of the prescriptions they can make more money than a pharmacy doing 400 scripts a day filling only lisinopril and aspirin. Chain pharmacy is the way it is today because chains had the money to expand when the pharmacy business was booming when you can tell an insurance whatever amount of money you paid for your drugs and they blindly reimbursed you. That's why we have 7000 CVS stores. Scripts are what matter.
 

BMBiology

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Solution for that? Open and INDY right across the street--fill 150 rxs a day with you and 2 techs and make $200K per year.
just curious..how many hours would you hae to work? 200 k also includes benefits?
 

BF7

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just curious..how many hours would you hae to work? 200 k also includes benefits?

50-55 hours per week..but when you're your own boss it's anything but like "punching a time clock".

Here's a quick overview of current pharmacy BIZ economics:

Avg PRICE of an RX: $60

Avg Gross margin 22%

150rxs day x $60 x 5 days x 52 weeks= $2.34 million in sales

$2.34 million x 22% Gross profit= $514,800

Net profit in usually in the 4-5% range ($105-117K)...RPh salary of $ $135K...easily in the $200K range.
 

Aznfarmerboi

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What most un-informed people don't know is that CVS is planning on going to 8 hour shifts for the entire company soon (for some markets now, and the rest of the company next year).... So yes, there will be overlaps....
 

Aznfarmerboi

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50-55 hours per week..but when you're your own boss it's anything but like "punching a time clock".

Here's a quick overview of current pharmacy BIZ economics:

Avg PRICE of an RX: $60

Avg Gross margin 22%

150rxs day x $60 x 5 days x 52 weeks= $2.34 million in sales

$2.34 million x 22% Gross profit= $514,800

Net profit in usually in the 4-5% range ($105-117K)...RPh salary of $ $135K...easily in the $200K range.
While I love going into the economics of independent pharmacy as I work for several independents and plan on owning my pharmacy one day..., I want to be the devil's advocate for this post.

200k divided by 55 hours, and 52 weeks... averages out to 70 dollars an hour. There are a lot of Pharmacy managers including I who make that money currently. Once I factor in benefits such as health, 401k matching, stock options, employee stock purchase plans, etc, I come out way ahead.

For the new graduate who knows nothing about pharmacy business, they make an average of 60 an hour... with the same benefits that pushes them to 70 dollars an hour. (Benefit value assign is around 20k... (assuming employee does 5 percent match, health insurance, other disabilities, bonuses, stock options, and various discounts.. - I brought a Mercedes and after negotiating with them for an entire day, told them I was a CVS employee and got 2k back, etc).

At the same time, the independent pharmacy has to take out a huge sum (from 150-300k), plus lag time into building that amount of business (150 is a lot now a days). Most independents that I have worked for do about 60-100 scripts. I have worked for some that do more than 150, but the practice is unethical (such as refilling prescriptions without telling the customers, lots of narcos, and not reversing claims if the customer does not come to pick up the scripts). There was pharmacy where the insurance auditor came in and said you only purchased so many atriplas... how did you dispensed 10 times the amount?

There are also a lot of other risks associated with being a business owner. The pharmacy might never build that amount of volume. There might be internal or external shrinks, lower reimbursements, etc.

I have a lot of friends who opened their pharmacies. They are not losing money, but they are not even close to earning their salaries or still putting money in/ re-investing profits... If I factor in the fact that it has been 3 years of lost wages and capital put in, they are out at least 600k.

Just saying...
 

BF7

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While I love going into the economics of independent pharmacy as I work for several independents and plan on owning my pharmacy one day..., I want to be the devil's advocate for this post.

200k divided by 55 hours, and 52 weeks... averages out to 70 dollars an hour. There are a lot of Pharmacy managers including I who make that money currently. Once I factor in benefits such as health, 401k matching, stock options, employee stock purchase plans, etc, I come out way ahead.

For the new graduate who knows nothing about pharmacy business, they make an average of 60 an hour... with the same benefits that pushes them to 70 dollars an hour. (Benefit value assign is around 20k... (assuming employee does 5 percent match, health insurance, other disabilities, bonuses, stock options, and various discounts.. - I brought a Mercedes and after negotiating with them for an entire day, told them I was a CVS employee and got 2k back, etc).

At the same time, the independent pharmacy has to take out a huge sum (from 150-300k), plus lag time into building that amount of business (150 is a lot now a days). Most independents that I have worked for do about 60-100 scripts. I have worked for some that do more than 150, but the practice is unethical (such as refilling prescriptions without telling the customers, lots of narcos, and not reversing claims if the customer does not come to pick up the scripts). There was pharmacy where the insurance auditor came in and said you only purchased so many atriplas... how did you dispensed 10 times the amount?

There are also a lot of other risks associated with being a business owner. The pharmacy might never build that amount of volume. There might be internal or external shrinks, lower reimbursements, etc.

I have a lot of friends who opened their pharmacies. They are not losing money, but they are not even close to earning their salaries or still putting money in/ re-investing profits... If I factor in the fact that it has been 3 years of lost wages and capital put in, they are out at least 600k.

Just saying...
Unethical pharmacists should be reported.

Your assumption that employee pharmacist wages are going to maintain their current levels with the onslaught of new grads coming by 2018 is a little naive in my opinion.
Now would be an excellent time for you to jump into ownership as it will likely be more profitable as a pharmacy owner to be paying pharmacists $40 and working 1-2 days per week as the owner as opposed to working 40 hours a week as a fire-able employee , subjecting yourself to growing metrics, shrinking tech hours and the whims of a non pharmacist MBA manager. Not to mention the personal satisfaction and respect that comes with being not just a pharmacist but an owner of a million dollar business. When **** hits the fan, pharmacy owners will be in a much better position than employee pharmacists to weather the coming economic pressures of a pharmacist surplus.

But don't simply take my word for it:

http://www.drugchannels.net/2013/11/profits-rebound-for-pharmacy-owners.html
The news is pretty good for pharmacy owners. Here are my observations from crunching the Digest's latest numbers. Full details below.
  • An independent pharmacy's overall margins and per-prescription profits increased in 2012.
  • The average pharmacist owning a single pharmacy earned about $245,000 in 2012—up 5% from 2011. Owners of multiple pharmacies earned much, much more.
  • The NCPA estimates that the total number of independent pharmacies continues to hold steady.
 
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wagrxm2000

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Unethical pharmacists should be reported.

Your assumption that employee pharmacist wages are going to maintain their current levels with the onslaught of new grads coming by 2018 is a little naive in my opinion.
Now would be an excellent time for you to jump into ownership as it will likely be more profitable as a pharmacy owner to be paying pharmacists $40 and working 1-2 days per week as the owner as opposed to working 40 hours a week as a fire-able employee , subjecting yourself to growing metrics, shrinking tech hours and the whims of a non pharmacist MBA manager. Not to mention the personal satisfaction and respect that comes with being not just a pharmacist but an owner of a million dollar business. When **** hits the fan, pharmacy owners will be in a much better position than employee pharmacists to weather the coming economic pressures of a pharmacist surplus.

But don't simply take my word for it:

http://www.drugchannels.net/2013/11/profits-rebound-for-pharmacy-owners.html
The news is pretty good for pharmacy owners. Here are my observations from crunching the Digest's latest numbers. Full details below.
  • An independent pharmacy's overall margins and per-prescription profits increased in 2012.
  • The average pharmacist owning a single pharmacy earned about $245,000 in 2012—up 5% from 2011. Owners of multiple pharmacies earned much, much more.
  • The NCPA estimates that the total number of independent pharmacies continues to hold steady.
Wasnt the point he was making is how many years will it take to get to that point? If it takes 5 years to make a profit plus the cost to buy/build that pharmacy, at what point have you surpassed your typical staff pharmacist?

Oh and my local independent is lucky to do 100 scripts a day, it isn't that easy
 
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type b pharmD

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While I love going into the economics of independent pharmacy as I work for several independents and plan on owning my pharmacy one day..., I want to be the devil's advocate for this post.

200k divided by 55 hours, and 52 weeks... averages out to 70 dollars an hour. There are a lot of Pharmacy managers including I who make that money currently. Once I factor in benefits such as health, 401k matching, stock options, employee stock purchase plans, etc, I come out way ahead.

For the new graduate who knows nothing about pharmacy business, they make an average of 60 an hour... with the same benefits that pushes them to 70 dollars an hour. (Benefit value assign is around 20k... (assuming employee does 5 percent match, health insurance, other disabilities, bonuses, stock options, and various discounts.. - I brought a Mercedes and after negotiating with them for an entire day, told them I was a CVS employee and got 2k back, etc).

At the same time, the independent pharmacy has to take out a huge sum (from 150-300k), plus lag time into building that amount of business (150 is a lot now a days). Most independents that I have worked for do about 60-100 scripts. I have worked for some that do more than 150, but the practice is unethical (such as refilling prescriptions without telling the customers, lots of narcos, and not reversing claims if the customer does not come to pick up the scripts). There was pharmacy where the insurance auditor came in and said you only purchased so many atriplas... how did you dispensed 10 times the amount?

There are also a lot of other risks associated with being a business owner. The pharmacy might never build that amount of volume. There might be internal or external shrinks, lower reimbursements, etc.

I have a lot of friends who opened their pharmacies. They are not losing money, but they are not even close to earning their salaries or still putting money in/ re-investing profits... If I factor in the fact that it has been 3 years of lost wages and capital put in, they are out at least 600k.

Just saying...
Agreed. While there is a LOT to be said for being your own boss.. hourly wage is hard to stack up. If you are in it for the long run and have years, dollars, and sweat to invest, independent will in all likelihood break even or beat a Corp pharmacist after 10-15 years. Not a timeframe to sneeze at by any means .. and if you are hard working enough and smart enough to open an indie, you could be managing a high volume corporate store for an effective $90/hr anyway if you are including benefits in there and bonus. It is going to take a while to get to that level as an independent... 55 hour work weeks really cuts the hourly wage down. I went out for drinks with one of our districts top managers recently and his store is on cruise which for him means ~$160k annual plus benefits for barely over 40h per week. Not many other gigs can give you that. The cash equivalent of his vacation alone is about 15k.. at an independent can you really leave for 5 weeks a year easily without risking business ?
 
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Bubba98

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Dec 5, 2013
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Unethical pharmacists should be reported.

Your assumption that employee pharmacist wages are going to maintain their current levels with the onslaught of new grads coming by 2018 is a little naive in my opinion.
Now would be an excellent time for you to jump into ownership as it will likely be more profitable as a pharmacy owner to be paying pharmacists $40 and working 1-2 days per week as the owner as opposed to working 40 hours a week as a fire-able employee , subjecting yourself to growing metrics, shrinking tech hours and the whims of a non pharmacist MBA manager. Not to mention the personal satisfaction and respect that comes with being not just a pharmacist but an owner of a million dollar business. When **** hits the fan, pharmacy owners will be in a much better position than employee pharmacists to weather the coming economic pressures of a pharmacist surplus.

But don't simply take my word for it:

http://www.drugchannels.net/2013/11/profits-rebound-for-pharmacy-owners.html
The news is pretty good for pharmacy owners. Here are my observations from crunching the Digest's latest numbers. Full details below.
  • An independent pharmacy's overall margins and per-prescription profits increased in 2012.
  • The average pharmacist owning a single pharmacy earned about $245,000 in 2012—up 5% from 2011. Owners of multiple pharmacies earned much, much more.
  • The NCPA estimates that the total number of independent pharmacies continues to hold steady.
Those numbers are self reported and not verified. Even the host of that blog admits that the most profitable independents respond to the survey which skews the results. Stop into some and talk to the owners. It's a tough environment. Until the cvs of this world retrench to only the more profitable areas there isn't much opportunity.
 

BF7

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Wasnt the point he was making is how many years will it take to get to that point? If it takes 5 years to make a profit plus the cost to buy/build that pharmacy, at what point have you surpassed your typical staff pharmacist?

Oh and my local independent is lucky to do 100 scripts a day, it isn't that easy
The outlook you are displaying in the post above, coupled with the coming surplus of pharmacist grads nationwide that is projected to leave 1 of every 5 unemployed, is precisely why the average pharmacist is going to be in for a world of hurt come 2018 when market forces come to bear their full weight on a once incredibly lucrative profession that will remain lucrative only for those willing to take on some additional risk. You are clearly not one of those pharmacists.
 

BF7

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Those numbers are self reported and not verified. Even the host of that blog admits that the most profitable independents respond to the survey which skews the results. Stop into some and talk to the owners. It's a tough environment. Until the cvs of this world retrench to only the more profitable areas there isn't much opportunity.
What non publicly traded corporation would willfully release specific information relative to its own personal financial situation without some form of anonymity ( in this case a survey)?

As a pharmacy owner and as someone who,over the course of the last 30 months, has been in the market and performing due diligence on 7 pharmacies for sale in the state of Texas and who has been a part of a transaction on 2 more, I can tell you that these NCPA survey numbers are actually a little bit on the low end.

But you just keep your head down, keep verifying 450 scripts per shift , make sure that your screen doesn't turn red and that you've given your requisite number of flu shots.
 

zelman

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What most un-informed people don't know is that CVS is planning on going to 8 hour shifts for the entire company soon (for some markets now, and the rest of the company next year).... So yes, there will be overlaps....
No way.
 

southpharmindy

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Not sure what independents you guys have looked at but most I have seen do on average of 200+ per day. From a service perspective there is just no substitute for having "skin in the game". The guy at CVS doesnt know what he pays for the drugs nor care if he does 100 or 1000.

Stop in and talk to some independent pharmacists and you'll get the poor mouth job of the century. I'm barely making it. Don't look at my brand new 5 series BMW or Lexus in the parking lot. We're barely making pennies. CVS will tell you the same thing yet they own 8000 stores and make billions.

I've looked at the books for several independent stores and run one. 245,000 a year is low for a pharmacy owner.
 
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Old Timer

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I am a firm believer that script count matters. Now I work for plenty of independents and I see where money is made and where money is not made. Some of the most successful independents only do 90-100 scripts a day, and because of the quality of the prescriptions they can make more money than a pharmacy doing 400 scripts a day filling only lisinopril and aspirin. Chain pharmacy is the way it is today because chains had the money to expand when the pharmacy business was booming when you can tell an insurance whatever amount of money you paid for your drugs and they blindly reimbursed you. That's why we have 7000 CVS stores. Scripts are what matter.
Again, you are woefully ignorant of the recent history of retail pharmacy. You could never tell an insurance company whatever you wanted. Clueless is your middle name.
 
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BMBiology

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OT: I have no doubt you would were a great diplomat in your past life.
 

Old Timer

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OT: I have no doubt you would were a great diplomat in your past life.
There are times to be diplomatic and there are times when you have to call people out who pull facts out of their rectal opening. I worked in independent retail pharmacy from 1976 to 2001 as a cashier, tech, intern and pharmacist. I saw the destruction of an industry. Chain pharmacy is not the cause it's the result. There was never a time when any pharmacy dictated to the insurance company what the reimbursement would be.
 
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BF7

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Not sure what independents you guys have looked at but most I have seen do on average of 200+ per day. From a service perspective there is just no substitute for having "skin in the game". The guy at CVS doesnt know what he pays for the drugs nor care if he does 100 or 1000.

Stop in and talk to some independent pharmacists and you'll get the poor mouth job of the century. I'm barely making it. Don't look at my brand new 5 series BMW or Lexus in the parking lot. We're barely making pennies. CVS will tell you the same thing yet they own 8000 stores and make billions.

I've looked at the books for several independent stores and run one. 245,000 a year is low for a pharmacy owner.
We can lead them to the trough but we can't make them eat.....
 

wagrxm2000

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Everyone talks about the successful independent. Starting from scratch, what is the cost to get one going and how many years until you see a profit?
 

BMBiology

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Like everything else in life..the more risk you take, the more the rewards.
 

brianna05

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In central Florida starting November 1st, CVS pharmacist will have to split 3 weekday shifts, it is mandatory that Mondays are split. It doesn't matter how you split the day as long as the base remains the same we are 8-9 weekdays, 8-6 Saturdays and 10-6 Sundays....83 hours per weeks total 41.5 hours per pharmacist. It sucks, we are used to basically working 7 days in a 2 week period, now we have to work 10 days in a two week period. I would feel better if there was some overlap involved so I could get some of my paperwork done.....I should know better, this is CVS after all.
 
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ancienbon

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It is going to be in the whole state of Florida? I have not heard anything about it yet.
 

Old Timer

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In central Florida starting November 1st, CVS pharmacist will have to split 3 weekday shifts, it is mandatory that Mondays are split. It doesn't matter how you split the day as long as the base remains the same we are 8-9 weekdays, 8-6 Saturdays and 10-6 Sundays....83 hours per weeks total 41.5 hours per pharmacist. It sucks, we are used to basically working 7 days in a 2 week period, now we have to work 10 days in a two week period. I would feel better if there was some overlap involved so I could get some of my paperwork done.....I should know better, this is CVS after all.
Did your store hours change or just the Pharmacists?
 

msweph

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Jun 27, 2013
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I have a buddy that works for CVS and they changed it so that can only work a max of 10 hours a shift.
 
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owlegrad

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In central Florida starting November 1st, CVS pharmacist will have to split 3 weekday shifts, it is mandatory that Mondays are split. It doesn't matter how you split the day as long as the base remains the same we are 8-9 weekdays, 8-6 Saturdays and 10-6 Sundays....83 hours per weeks total 41.5 hours per pharmacist. It sucks, we are used to basically working 7 days in a 2 week period, now we have to work 10 days in a two week period. I would feel better if there was some overlap involved so I could get some of my paperwork done.....I should know better, this is CVS after all.
I can confirm that we have had to move to having more split days. We have not been told in my market that it must be three (yet), but we have been told Monday is mandatory split. There is no overlap so it seems pointless to me...
 
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