UPDATE: Questions remain about pharmacy closing, student reaction is mixed

Foust HallUpdate: Gabriel Santi, director of marketing and communication, the College of Medicine has answered Insider’s questions on Friday afternoon. You can look at it here

The CMU College of Medicine announced earlier this month the University Health Services Pharmacy would be closing on Feb. 29, but questions still remain.

At the time of publication, Director of Communication and Marketing for the College of Medicine Gabriel Santi has not responded to questions regarding the amount of money being saved as a result of the closure, or questions about the number of pharmacy employees losing their jobs.

Santi has answered some of Insider’s  questions but has not answered those two questions as of Friday morning. Those two questions were asked following an initial response from Santi.

Director of Public Relations for CMU Steven Smith has also not responded to questions asked by Insider.

According to 2015/2016 CMU operating budget, University Health Services, which includes the pharmacy and the Foust and Towers health clinics, was receiving $892,574 in subsidies.

For comparison, the College of Medicine is receiving $11.8 million in subsidies and the Athletic Department receives $21.1 million.

Santi said the pharmacy will still offer full services until the time of closing.

“The pharmacy will remain open to accommodate the transferring of existing patients to other pharmacies as well as fulfilling current prescriptions, as inventory allows, until its official closure on February 29th, 2016,” Santi said. “The current pharmacy technician is actively working with pharmacists daily to fulfill prescription transfers and filling of current/new prescriptions as inventory allows.”

Students and faculty who have relied on the pharmacy in the past will now have to take their business to one of the several other pharmacies in the Mount Pleasant area, a list of which has been provided by The College of Medicine.

“The CMU College of Medicine has been proactive about communicating with students, faculty, and staff regarding the closure of the pharmacy and has been fulfilling the request of all patients to have their prescriptions transferred to a pharmacy of their choice,” Santi said.

Student reaction to the closure has been diverse.

Junior Rachel Livingway is one of the many students that see the closure of the pharmacy as a disservice to the student body.

After developing psoriasis during her sophomore year, Rachel was only able to find proper treatment at the Foust Pharmacy.

“I went to two other doctors in Mount Pleasant, and all they did was give me and antibiotic,” Livingway said.”When I finally went to Foust, they diagnosed me and referred me to the local dermatologist, which allowed me to get an appointment there as soon as possible, when it could’ve taken a long time to make an appointment without their referral.”

Though junior Abigail Wiley would sympathize with the university’s decision if administrators were convinced it was the correct course of action, but she sees how it could negatively impact students.

“I don’t think it’s necessarily a good thing, because it takes away from a service that some students who can’t go to another pharmacy need,” Wiley said.

Sophomore and Herrig Hall Residential Assistant Steve Brazitis doesn’t believe the closure will be a substantial loss as he owns a car in the case if he needed to visit one of the pharmacies around town. However, he does see how it could affect less fortunate students.

“When I’ve gone to the health clinic before, I’ve been able to have my prescriptions mailed to me,” Brazitis said. “I wonder how students without cars are going to be able to get their prescriptions.”



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