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The Wall Street Journal reports that “Walgreen Co. plans to cut costs, overhaul stores and change the way it fills prescriptions as it shifts gears to respond to rising competition and slowing drug sales.”

According to the story, Walgreen is counting on “an ambitious plan to fill one-third of its prescriptions at central facilities, shipping them back to stores the next day. The chain wants to rout its insurance processing and nearly all its phone calls through call centers rather than stores. It says the moves will save money and give pharmacists more time to spend with patients.

“The new process is in place in 150 Florida stores, and Walgreen expects it to cover all stores in the state, which equals 10% of its roughly 6,500 U.S. locations, by the end of next year. The company said it still has to persuade legislators and boards of pharmacy in other states to approve the changes.”

KC's View:
If this change in process being advocated by Walgreen means that customers may have to wait as long as 24 hours for certain prescriptions, I think it sounds like the company is pursuing efficiency instead of effectiveness. As a customer, I don't want to wait that long…and I would choose to avoid a pharmacy that believed its own operational needs were more important than consumer needs and desires.