The pharmacy operating at Oregon State University has been shut down since June, but a petition has been started to reopen it due to the impact it had on the community – and it has reached 3,800 signatures.
The pharmacy provided immunizations as an important part of their business, some of which students need in order to lift a registration hold.
Ty Triplett, a second year Pharm.D. student, told the Daily Barometer, “The closure also impacts the Student Health Center by removing a valuable resource for drug advice and administration of vaccines like flu shots, maintenance vaccines, and a potential COVID vaccine when the time comes.”
Oregon Contraceptive Care or CCare, a free program providing hormonal contraceptives to students through the Pharmacy, has also been reduced. There aren’t any other similar programs.
There were several factors that contributed to the closure of the pharmacy.
“Ongoing and growing subsidies were required to cover the cost of services and operations of the pharmacy in recent years, potentially compromising the educational mission of the College of Pharmacy,”Jin Ballew, executive assistant to the dean in the College of Pharmacy, said to the Barometer. “Initial efforts to optimize staffing and decrease non-personnel expenses were not successful in addressing budget shortfalls.”
Ballew said the pharmacy had been self-sufficient and operated without support from student fees, but even with the discussion of different financial strategies, itwould not be enough to mitigate the financial damage to the College of Pharmacy and its missions.
However, the College of Pharmacy took steps to support students by helping with prescription transfer while dealing with the closure, Triplett said.
Students have had to travel farther for services, which may be difficult for those without transportation, Triplett said. Pharmacists, technicians, and pharmacy students, who had previously worked there, have also been affected.
“At this time, there are no concrete plans to reopen SHS Pharmacy,” Ballew said. “If there are opportunities in the future, we will work with stakeholders, including students, to make that decision.”