The transfer of responsibilities from the Student Health pharmacy to the Outpatient Pharmacy will be complete before the new year.
But some specific reasons behind the decision to close the Student Health pharmacy, announced Nov. 10, remain undisclosed.
“It really became impossible to justify keeping the pharmacy open because of the significant loss of money,” said Sue Wasiolek, dean of students and assistant vice president for student affairs. “I know that the losses really became significant last year—by last year, I mean Spring semester.”
She declined to comment, however, on the size of the losses.
“I don’t think that’s something neither [Vice President for Student Affairs Larry Moneta] nor I would share with you,” she said.
The Student Health pharmacy, which is self-funded and not financed by the student health fee, has been operating at a deficit since 2005, said Dr. Bill Purdy, executive director of Student Health.
He said the Student Health pharmacy successfully cut losses in half several years ago by reducing the number of drugs it carried.
While in deficit, the Student Health pharmacy operated using its reserves, Purdy added, declining to comment on the magnitude of the deficit.
Wasiolek said she became aware of the possibility of closing the Student Health pharmacy during the summer, but was not involved in earlier discussions. She added that Moneta was involved in those conversations, but she did not identify other administrators involved. Moneta, who is on sabbatical in Croatia, could not be reached for comment.
When the Student Health pharmacy closes Dec. 18, student prescriptions will be automatically transferred to the Outpatient Pharmacy located in the Duke Hospital South Clinic two floors above the Student Health Center.
Outpatient Pharmacy Manager Jim Stefanadis deferred all questions regarding finances and the transition to Chief Pharmacy Officer Paul Bush.
Bush canceled a scheduled interview and subsequently could not be reached for comment.
Stefanadis wrote in an e-mail that according to the Hospital media policy—sent out in an e-mail Nov. 20—all requests for information must be directed to Duke Medicine News and Communications to ensure that appropriate protocols are followed.
Doug Stokke, assistant vice president of communications for the Duke University Health System, referred questions regarding the pharmacy transition to Bush.
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