(WFXR) — If you’ve been at a pharmacy lately, you may have seen long lines or limited stock.
Brandon Crosier is a store manager at Christiansburg Pharmacy and says a big part of the staffing problem in the Commonwealth is new regulations by the Virginia Board of Pharmacy requiring new pharmacy techs to take classes.
“So what we offered was, hey we’ll help you with your school if you’ll go on with us,” said Crosier. They’ve also hired someone in Human Resources to do the hiring, and they’ve gone from 10 interviews a month to 50.
Another shortage not just in Virginia, but nationwide, is in medications.
“All of our children’s section of drugs for cough and cold are on backorder,” said Crosier. “It’s all on backorder due to a shortage in the workforce, and ingredients are so much more expensive with inflation.”
Being an independent pharmacy, Crosier says they have the flexibility to partner with whichever distributors have stock, but medication can still be hard to locate.
Even Blue Ridge Apothecary in Roanoke, who make their own medications, says they suffer “spot” shortages.
“The immediate need was for plastic containers and dispensers,” said owner and pharmacist in charge Graham Stephens. “Most of the time thankfully, we’ve not had problems getting our pharmaceutical-grade powders.”
He says, to get the materials he needs, he’s had to rely on 20 years of networking and keeping an above-minimum stock.
“So far, none of our patients have had to suffer outside of waiting a couple extra days for their medicine,” he said.
Both pharmacies say they’re able to overcome shortages because of intentional good treatment of employees and flexibility with sourcing their goods.