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Wait time lengthens after pharmacy closure

After the Student Health Pharmacy shut down two months ago, some students said that they experienced longer wait times at the Outpatient Pharmacy.
After the Student Health Pharmacy shut down two months ago, some students said that they experienced longer wait times at the Outpatient Pharmacy.

Since the Student Health Pharmacy closed exactly two months ago today, students have been filling their prescriptions at the Outpatient Pharmacy.

The Outpatient Pharmacy, which is located in the Duke Hospital South Clinic two floors above the Student Health Center, is also used by patients at Duke University Hospital. Because the Outpatient Pharmacy caters to hospital patients as well as Duke students, many students wait longer in line than they used to for prescriptions, said Dr. Bill Purdy, executive director of Student Health.

Purdy said students have complained that the Outpatient Pharmacy is slower to process prescriptions than the old Student Health pharmacy. There are times when prescriptions can be filled quickly, but it depends on the time of day and how crowded the pharmacy is, he added.

“The Outpatient Pharmacy is like every other pharmacy,” Purdy said. “You’re going to have to wait. We were all spoiled for a while, and students didn’t have to wait that long initially.”

In addition to the extended wait, students have also expressed frustration about the accessibility of the Outpatient Pharmacy.

“The [Outpatient Pharmacy] is also hard to find,” sophomore Destani Bizune said. “Even the woman on the first floor was a little confused. She didn’t know that students started using it. It’s a lot more inconvenient.”

The Outpatient Pharmacy has seen some minor inventory complications during the transition.

“[Outpatient Pharmacy Manager Jim Stefanadis] said they had some problems right in the beginning with some refills that didn’t come through,” Purdy said. “Some second transfers may not be valid, but they got that all straightened out,” Purdy said.

Duke Medicine Office of News and Communications failed to return numerous requests from The Chronicle to speak with Stefanadis, Chief Pharmacy Officer Paul Bush and other Outpatient Pharmacy employees.

“If the number of students increases that go upstairs, I hope they will have a separate line for students,” Purdy said. “We talked about that last Fall, but promised nothing. It depends on the volume.”

Purdy added that in order to cut down on time spent waiting for prescriptions to be filled, students are encouraged to drop off prescriptions if there is a long wait, and come back when they are filled.

“Student Health did not want the pharmacy to close,” Purday said. ”We had to cut back on some of the services. No one is happy about it, but that’s the way it is.”

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