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What's behind our pharmacy Ratings?

The Consumer Reports National Research Center comprises highly trained social scientists, including 9 Ph.D.s, using state-of-the-art techniques to survey more than 1 million consumers each year about products, services, health care and consumer issues.
We look for:
  • Reader score
    Overall satisfaction.
  • Speed and accuracy
    Speed and accuracy in filling prescriptions.
  • Courtesy and helpfulness
    Courtesy and helpfulness of pharmacy staff.
  • Pharmacists' knowledge
    Pharmacists' knowledge.


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Consumer Reports’ latest drug store study affirms that the top-rated walk-in stores are neighborhood independents, not giant chains such as Walgreens and CVS. One of our most disturbing findings is that so few people are talking to their druggists about dosing, interactions, or medical conditions. In our latest survey, just 42 percent of respondents had a conversation with their pharmacist about their prescription drugs; 26 percent discussed over-the-counter medicines. If you're looking for information about drug stores, Consumer Reports is your best resource. Consumer Reports’ drug store reviews will give you honest advice that you can trust. Use our drug store buying guide to discover which features are most important to consider. We also provide unbiased Ratings and drug store reviews to help you choose the best drug store for your needs.

Pharmacy buying guide

Pharmacy buying guide

"Corner drugstore" is an apt phrase: you can hardly turn a corner without running into a CVS, Rite Aid, or Walgreens. The U.S. is home to more than 7,400 CVS stores alone. But if you're still going to a pharmacy chain for prescriptions, as do half of our readers, you might be missing out. As a group, pharmacy chains scored no higher in our Ratings of walk-in drugstores than big-box chains such as Costco and Walmart, and both types of store were bested by super¬markets and independent pharmacies. Independents (and the independently owned franchise chain Health Mart), as well as the regional supermarket Wegmans, earned readers' top marks for speed and accuracy, courtesy and helpfulness, and pharmacists' knowledge. (Read about the price differences between generic drugs and brand-name drugs.)

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