Only 24-hour pharmacy in Huntsville changes hours

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT)- The CVS on Whiteburg Drive is the only pharmacy in Huntsville that is open 24-hours. This service has a huge impact on patients leaving the hospital after normal business hours. This CVS is the only place in Huntsville that they can go to get their prescription filled.

That will soon change, because starting December 6, that CVS Pharmacy will have new hours. On Monday through Friday, they will only be open from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. On Saturday, they are open from 9:00 a.m to 6:00 p.m., and on Sunday 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Dr. John Wisda is the Medical Director of Emergency Services at Crestwood Hospital and he says this is a big loss for patients in Huntsville. "A city the size of Huntsville and as progressive as the city of Huntsville deserves a 24-hour pharmacy provided by someone," says Dr. Wisda.

Dr. Wisda gives a great example of what these new changes will be like. "Lets say that CVS closes on the weekend at 6 at night and I see a patient at 6 at night that has a broken bone. There are government restrictions on what we can dispense in the emergency room. We certainly can give that patient pain medicine, but that patient is going to wake up at 2 in the morning with severe pain and have nothing to take," Dr. Wisda exclaims.

Crestwood Hospital, on average, has about 130 patients come through the E.R. everyday, and half of those patients are seen after 6:00 p.m. "Now not everyone has to get their prescriptions filled that night, but yeah, most of them are sick enough you  know they need to. I tell them to get their antibiotic filled that night and don't wait until the next morning or their pain medicine," says Dr. Wisda.

WHNT News 19 reached out to CVS to ask why they decided to make the change. CVS corporate told us that no one was available to do an interview with us but they did release the following statement.

"As part of the regular course of business, we review operating hours to make sure that we’re open during peak customer demand. From time to time, this may result in a shift in store hours. We determined that our pharmacy in Huntsville will no longer need to be open 24 hours, but rather have standard hours of operation to better align with customer demand at this location. Beginning on December 6, 2015, our Huntsville store’s pharmacy will be open 8am to 9m weekdays, 9am to 6pm on Saturdays, and 10am to 6pm on Sunday. The front store will remain open 24 hours."

The only other pharmacy open for 24-hours is the Walgreen's Pharmacy off of Hughes Road.