Rowlands Pharmacy's managing director found staff "over-worked and under-appreciated" after going undercover in his own company for a Channel 4 programme.
Kenny Black saw shortages of "life-saving" drugs and witnessed one of his delivery drivers moved to tears by his job, according to the synopsis for an episode of Undercover Boss.
In the series, executives pose as workers in various parts of their company to understand how to fix their businesses.
Mr Black told C+D he decided to go on the show, which airs at 9pm next Tuesday (August 5) to get a "real insight" into the challenges facing his company.
"Of course I was conscious of the risk involved, especially handing over editorial control, but this really was an opportunity that I couldn't turn down. I saw this as an experience to not only raise the profile of Rowlands but pharmacy as a whole, explaining the difficulties myself and my industry colleagues face every day," he told C+D.
Rowlands, which owns 510 pharmacy branches across the UK, had seen its turnover drop by £20 million as a result of government funding cuts and increased competition, the Channel 4 synopsis said.
"When Kenny goes undercover, there's a bitter pill to swallow: he discovers life-saving medicines out of stock and staff over-worked and under-appreciated. [He] is forced to consider if he has more to worry about than the bottom line," it said.
In 2012, Mr Black warned that a rise in applications for 100-hour pharmacies could create significant competition for Rowlands.