Houston Matters

Why pharmacies are feeling the pressure of increased demand and decreased revenue

We explore why the economics surrounding pharmacies continues to evolve, and how it affects the consumer experience.

Pharmacy shelves
Reynaldo Leal


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Been to the pharmacy lately? Does it seem like the lines are longer, the pharmacists are busier, and the experience is, well, a bit much compared to how it used to be? You're not wrong.

Since the pandemic, pharmacy workloads have increased, insurance checks have grown complicated, and staffing hasn't always kept up to meet the demand. Not to mention, sometimes they just don't have the meds you want filled.

In the audio above, we discuss what’s led to the changes, with Dr. Vivian Ho, a health economist at Rice University and Baylor College of Medicine, and Dr. Joshua Wollen, Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Translational Research at the University of Houston.

Plus, we discuss why it seems to take a lot longer with more hoops than it used to just to get prescriptions filled, what supply and staffing hurdles pharmacies may face, and what pharmacy benefit managers or PBMs (companies that manage prescription drug benefits) have to do with it.