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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 with the pharmacy
  • Pharmacists' knowledge
    Pharmacist’s overall knowledge as it relates to the consumer’s concerns
  • Courtesy
    Courteousness of pharmacy staff
  • Helpfulness
    Helpfulness of pharmacy staff
  • Speed
    Time taken by the pharmacy to fill prescriptions
  • Price paid
    Cost of the prescription drugs
  • Checkout
    Speed that staff checks out their customers
  • Cleanliness
    How clean or hygienic the pharmacy facility appears to customers
  • OTC Selection
    Availability of different over-the-counter medications within a store brand
  • OTC Quality
    Qualty of store brand over-the-counter medications
  • OTC Price
    Price of store brand over-the-counter medications
  • PCP Selection
    Selection of store brand personal care products
  • PCP Quality
    Quality of store brand personal care products
  • PCP Price
    Price of store brand personal care products


Follow Consumer Reports

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

"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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