Out of time: Services stop on last 24-hour Jonesboro pharmacy

Published: May. 5, 2022 at 9:44 PM CDT
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - The door has closed on the final round-the-clock option for Jonesboro citizens to get their medications, leaving options scarce.

Traffic flow came to an end just weeks ago after the Walgreens at Highland and Southwest Driver stopped their 24-hour pharmacy services.

Dr. Shane Speights, Dean at the New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine at Arkansas State, said while he believes this is just a blip on the radar, he’s also not surprised by the decision.

“It is probably consistent with what we are seeing throughout healthcare with workforce shortages,” he said.

Across the healthcare industry, doctors, nurses, and pharmacists are in short demand.

In a statement sent to Region 8 News, Walgreens said labor-related shortages and the ongoing demand for COVID-related services led to the decision:

“As a result, there are some instances in which we’ve had to adjust or reduce pharmacy operating hours, as we work to balance staffing and resources in the market to meet the needs of our customers and patients.”

Despite the closure, Speights said you still have other options.

He said if you end up in the hospital and pharmacies are closed, you can ask the doctor for a couple of doses of medication before being discharged.

“Our hospitals in the region have very robust pharmacies,” Speights said.

If you’re a parent, your best bet is to plan ahead.

When you take your child to the doctor, always ask for a rescue prescription to be filled just in case you need it later.

“Maybe it is they don’t seem really sick right now, but it is going into the weekend, so who knows what will happen,” he said.

According to Speights, the nearest 24-hour pharmacy in Northeast Arkansas is in Searcy.

NEA Baptist released a statement on the matter, saying the system has “worked to develop processes and resources” so they can attend to their patients’ needs.

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