Comparing Wal-Mart Pharmacy to Walgreens Pharmacy

Wal-Mart and Walgreens pharmacies are compared for price and convenience. If you haven't got the time, choose wisely.
Health & Beauty > Pharmacy & Drugs

There are a lot of options available when you need to fill a prescription.  Grocery store chains, superstore chains and traditional drug stores are on practically every block, ready, willing and able to supply you with your medicinal needs and good advice.

Comparing superstore and traditional drug store pharmacies is much like comparing apples to air conditioners.  They may both have something to offer but they are likely nothing alike.  The two pharmacy groups that I will compare here are Walgreens and Wal-Mart.

Walgreens:

Walgreens is a reputable chain of drug stores that can be found in most towns and cities across the United States.  They have a variety of specialty items as well as a properly manned pharmacy.  On a good day you can drop off your prescription and within thirty minutes you will likely be ringing out, medication in hand.  While you are waiting you can puruse the rest of the store, or sit in a comfortable waiting area until your name is called.  They have a convenient wellness center and the pharmacists are knowledgeable and informative.

Pharmacists in Walgreens are never too busy to stop and help you to find what you need in the over the counter section of the store either.  If you have athlete's foot or your little one has a horrible croaking cough, the pharmacists will be happy to step away from their counter and provide you with excellent advice on which products do what and which will likely be the best choice.

It was mentioned that comparing Walgreens to Wal-Mart was like comparing apples to air conditioners.  You will soon see why.

Wal-Mart

Wal-Mart has grown to the point where the comforts of home may be at the customer's fingertips, but it takes literally hours to get a prescription.  When someone can find banana bread, or just the right beading "findings" in seconds, it takes sometimes longer than seven hours start to finish when you are looking for the most important item:  medication for yourself or a loved one.

Wal-Mart's pharmacy is strategically located close to over the counter medications and orthopaedic items like crutches and neck braces.  What they also have in the pharmacy is no less than three pharmacists filling prescriptions as well as other Wal-Mart staff who should not even be behind the counter.  Their presence in this department gives the impression that things will move smoother, but on the contrary, Wal-Mart pharmacy has no concern over the well-being of the customer.

A Customer's Anecdote:

A customer was standing in front of the Wal-Mart pharmacy after having dropped off the prescription six hours before.  She stood in a line for over an hour and a half, because there were no comfortable facilities for the customer to sit down.  After an hour and a half, behind two other customers, this woman finally made it to the pharmacy counter to pick up her medications.  This was not the end of her wait, however.  After the Wal-Mart (non-pharmacist) employee pulled her prescription, the customer was directed to yet another line, where she waited for another 45 minutes.  The pharmacist is the only employee who can ring up a prescription, so the false sense of completion caused even more undue stress to the customer.

Pharmacists at Wal-Mart rarely speak to the customer, and are not readily available to help them make decisions about their medications, or over the counter medicine needs.

The benefit to being at Wal-Mart was the cost of her prescription was extremely cheap.  Compared to Walgreens, she paid about ten per cent of the Walgreens cost for the same prescription.  However, the customer was extremely dissatisfied with the time it took for her to get her medicine.

Conclusion

The differences between Walgreens and Wal-Mart are far reaching, different between the two by cost (Walgreens is much higher) or the convenience (Wal-Mart is closer to almost anyone).  The consumer should be aware of the time limitations to being a devout Wal-Mart customer.  If you can afford to pay more for your prescriptions, this author recommends the friendly and quick treatment of Walgreens pharmacists.

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N Cherne
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