Walgreens

There was a line Wednesday at the Walgreens drive-thru near the intersection of Coursey and Sherwood Forest boulevards. Baton Rouge-area pharmacies saw customers flocking to get prescriptions after Hurricane Ida prompting longer lines than usual this week. 

Baton Rouge-area pharmacies saw customers flocking to get prescriptions after Hurricane Ida prompting longer lines than usual this week.

Power outages caused by the storm knocked out electricity and temporarily shuttered many locations through Tuesday.

It wasn't a supply chain issue but some locations were closed over Labor Day weekend so there was a bottleneck, according to pharmacies in the area.

The CVS at Bluebonnet Boulevard and Perkins Road was "extremely busy" as other pharmacies in the region had limited hours or were temporarily closed.

"We are not experiencing a medication supply issue. Our teams in Baton Rouge are working to serve customers and patients as efficiently as possible," said Amy Thibault, spokesperson for CVS Health.

On Wednesday afternoon, that same location was open but the pharmacy drive-thru was closed and blocked off with a shopping cart. The drive-thru is often closed when there's a staff shortage, Thibault said. Another CVS location near Bluebonnet and Jefferson Highway had no line and its drive-thru was open.

Desire Lands had been waiting about 20 minutes in a line with nearly a dozen cars at the Walgreens near the intersection of Coursey Boulevard and Sherwood Forest. She was picking up some medicine for her small children who had been without power for almost a week.

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"I think it should be a lot faster, some people might come on their lunch break to get their medicine and only have 30 minutes, how are they going to wait (in this line) you know time is money. Who wants to wait all day for medicine?" she said. "I think they may be short on workers, that's probably what it is."

At the Walgreens near the intersection of Siegen Lane and Perkins, Laurie Elkins waited in a line with half a dozen cars during midday. Elkins saw long lines around town but didn't have any trouble getting medicine for her family the day before at the Jefferson Highway CVS.

"I usually come in the late afternoon," she said. "We've had no delays and everything has been available."

Meanwhile, a local independent pharmacy in Prairieville has been getting a steady stream of new customers from big chains.

"We're getting a lot of patients with their bottles saying no phones are being answered (at chain pharmacies) so we're trying to call the doctors to get the scripts to help them," said Marc Schexnailder, pharmacy manager at Prairieville Pharmacy.

The store had been using a generator for several days but had power restored.

"We've been lucky, our wholesaler is local so they've been delivering since Tuesday right after the storm," Schexnailder said.


Email Kristen Mosbrucker at kmosbrucker@theadvocate.com or follow her on Twitter @k_mosbrucker