Are you seeing long wait times at your pharmacy? Here are the possible reasons, according to a pharmacist

Some pharmacies across the Phoenix area are experiencing longer wait times, with what may usually be a five to ten minute wait turning into waits of 45 minutes or longer.

We reached out to CVS on Jan. 6, and while officials with the pharmacy chain did not go on camera, they did provide an updated on two of their Scottsdale locations: they are not experiencing delays.

Meanwhile, officials with one non-chain pharmacy in Phoenix say they may have the answer as to why wait times are so long.

Fairmont Pharmacy, a local business along Central Avenue, has been filling prescriptions for over a decade.

"Wait times here at Fairmont has been very good," said Mayur Dev, the pharmacist in charge. "We're able to get people in and out. We know other pharmacies are very busy. A lot of patients actually come to us because we're able to give that personalized service."

Dev says he understands why other pharmacies are seeing long wait times.

"I believe the overwhelming amount of prescriptions that are being sent to the pharmacies -- right now, with everybody being sick, there are a lot of viruses running around, a lot of the population in Arizona are pretty sick right now, so I think it's just not having enough staff to fill those needs."

Dev says he is seeing more people looking for allergy and cold medications this year, compared to last year.

"You have flu, you have the RSV, you got COVID, and just the weather. A lot of pollution in the Valley," said Dev. "I think people are just sick overall."

Another contributing factor: many transfers are being made due to a shortage of medications.

"We know, like, antibiotics for children, like basic amoxicillin, that's not been available for a while," said Dev. "A bunch of ADHD medications, they have not been available also."

Another reason could be insurance: the beginning of a new year means insurance policies reset, and Dev says co-pays might fluctuate for some people, catching them off guard when they check out.

"If it was covered in your insurance plan last year, it might not be this year, so that can contribute to a longer wait time, because the staff is calling the doctors and insurance companies, and it's more work on our side to do all that," said Dev.

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