CVS Nightmare- Is it a national phenomenon?

Went to CVS to pick up a prescription that was listed as “in process” in their app for at least 10 days. Line 10 minutes after opening was already 12 deep. Took me 1 hr and 15 minutes to get to the pharmacy technician, who filled the med while I waited. This has happened for the last 6 weeks. Is this just in our area? Are others experiencing this? And does anyone have an idea what is going on, as we have been going there for prescriptions for years and have never seen anything like this, even during the darkest days of COVID.


Our Walgreens has been bad with the lines. From barely open until close the drive thru wraps around the building and the inside pharmacy line snakes down the whole store. I’ve taken to showing up a tiny bit before they open and just waiting, otherwise it’s liable to be at least an hour in the line alone. I have absolutely no idea why.


Not like that around here. There was a line for COVID vaccines and flu shots, though.

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Maybe I can transfer my prescription to your neighborhood? lol

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No significant lines here. I’ve never had to wait behind more than a couple people.

I am currently in CVS Caremark hell. I have had to ration meds because I can’t get what I need in a timely manner. Supposed to be delivered yesterday, said it was delivered, but it was not. I just took my last pill 15 minutes ago, and I’m supposed to take it 3x/day. I am hoping it shows up today.

I have another friend who is having similar issues.


This is what we are experiencing. Out of stock meds, sick people being turned away or given incomplete prescriptions and told to come back tomorrow (after waiting an hour in line already!!!)… We are in Pennsylvania outside of Philly. Where are you? Wondering if it is a regional issue?

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No issues with our CVS but I’m hearing similar issues at Walgreens near by. They are impacted by staffing shortages and now that so many people are going for shots, they are even busier.

My H transferred all his meds to a mail order company. That can sometimes have its own issues though.


No one getting shots at this location (although they are offered). Just trying to get meds. I see great employment opportunities in pharmacy ahead if this is a trend!

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Some issues at my CVS, seems to be a supply chain issue.

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We are not having issues of lines at our CVS, but their phone refill system only works sometimes. We have to use CVS for maintenance meds, since we have CVS Caremark prescription coverage. They would like to have everyone do mail order for those, but I don’t want that. When we have it on auto fill, they fill it way too early … and invariably, my rx dose changes when that happens. Because I have a high deductible plan, I end up paying a bunch of money for meds I can’t use. Frustrating.


Central Texas.

The first problem is that they said that I needed a new Rx as I was out of refills. That was correct so I went to the doctor and got a new refill. Then they told me that I wasn’t eligible to refill it for a few weeks, which was not true. You can count the days from when the last RX was filled and see that they were wrong. Dealt with them on that and got it filled. Then they wouldn’t fill it because of “multiple billing issues.” Got those resolved, and they said it would be 3-7 days unless I paid extra for quicker shipping. I told them that I would be out of meds in three days and that I’ve been working on this for two weeks. She said they would expedite it. Got a USPS delivery email saying it would be here yesterday. Did not get here yesterday. When you click through the explanations, it says that, well, it really may take 24 hours past when it said it was delivered. :roll_eyes:

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So it sounds like it isn’t national but others are having issues at this and other pharmacies. Hope it is just a blip!


The “out of stock” thing happened yesterday for the first time ever. Was quite a jolt and made me immediately imagine shipping containers with my meds in them offshore in Santa Barbara somewhere. But, everything was resolved just as mysteriously a few moments later. No long lines. Maybe it was a computer glitch?

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It is definitely an issue at all the CVS pharmacies in my area. There has been ongoing discussion/rants in my city’s FB page. Several people have complained not only to the corporate office but also to whatever the state regulating body is. When I had problems a few months ago and had to get a new script from my doctor, she mentioned that many of her patients were having issues and that it wasn’t just our local CVS but at all the locations in our county. My neighbor was actually given the wrong prescription, others, including my husband have not been able to pick up needed medications that had run out, etc.

We ended up moving all of our family’s medications to a locally owned, non-chain pharmacy. I chuckled to myself when the person in front of me told the pharmacist she would be dropping off several more prescriptions as she was also dumping CVS. I’m sure this particular pharmacy is enjoying all the new business. Though it’s not as convenient for me, it is well worth the extra minutes driving to be greeted by pleasant staff and have my prescriptions in hand with no delay.

I live in MD but have heard some other states/areas have had similar issues.


Thinking of switching to an independent pharmacy for inexpensive meds, but our insurance (Aetna plan) goes through CVS for maximum coverage.


Has anyone with CVS problems checked other pharmacies like Costco and Walmart?


Our local pharmacies terribly understaffed. It’s been worse recently as more people go back inside stores.

I started getting meds online through Costco (I’m not a member). It’s cheaper than what I would pay with insurance at our local pharmacy.

Oh yes, I realize that the sudden availability of boosters at the same time when so many people are getting flu shots, is causing a lot of additional foot traffic. And rather than a quick pick-up, people have to be looked up, vax waivers printed/handed out, insurances checked, etc.

Last week I had one pick-up and waited a good half hour. Later in the week I went back and realized the line was even longer - so I asked if this was just a line for vaccinations or also for pick-up and people looked like deer in a headlight, thinking they were in the wrong line (half we vaccinations, half were not). So I left.

My solution has been:

  • the drive-through. Even with two cars ahead of me, it’s still means I bypass everyone in line for vaccinations.

  • look up the pharmacists posted “lunch-break” hours and go about half way into that time. No vaccination lines, and the staff will be there to take care of “regular” business.

(No one ever mentioned “supply line issues” to me - because either you have the meds or you don’t. Standing in line 30 minutes wouldn’t suddenly solve any ‘supply line’ issue.)