Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.

UNIVERSITY PRESS

Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.

UNIVERSITY PRESS

Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.

UNIVERSITY PRESS

Get Drugs Cheap!

If you follow the yellow brick road up the stairs above the Breezeway cafí©, down the narrow hall on the second floor of the Student Services building, to room 223 you’ll find the newest addition to FAU’s Student Health Services: a full-service community pharmacy. “We are proud to add another jewel in the crown of student services here at FAU,” said President Frank Brogan at the pharmacy’s grand opening on August 24th, which had a “Wizard of Oz” theme. The new pharmacy, which unofficially opened back in March, offers drugs at discount prices to students, staff, and faculty. It’s part of a state university purchasing consortium, which allows FAU to buy products at a wholesale price, keeping costs for the pharmacy’s clients low. For example, birth control pills cost $12 at the pharmacy, versus $35-$40 at local CVS or Costco (see chart), and the Alburterol inhaler, which can go for $40, is only $8. Part of the pharmacy’s costs are paid for by students, who pay a student heath fee of $5 per credit hour. The pharmacy accepts most major health insurance plans, including CAREMARK-Florida Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Aetna, and Express Script. And students covered by the FAU Student Injury and Sickness Insurance Plan have no co-pays; 100% of their prescription drug costs are paid up to the yearly limit. Even students without insurance coverage still receive substantially discounted pricing, says the pharmacy’s director. It is also open to FAU employees and the community. Although they don’t get the student discounts, prices are still usually cheaper. This is because the FAU Pharmacy doesn’t have the large overheads other local pharmacies have, says Cathy Wallace, Director of Student Health Services. “We are part of Student Services so we don’t pay rent and other costs like that.” Pharmacy services have been available here for almost 15 years, but services were limited with few products available. “It was pretty much a closet with band-aids and Tylenol,” Wallace says. “The new pharmacy is really here because of the students. In our annual student satisfaction survey, students kept asking for it. They wanted to know why we didn’t have a pharmacy.” Planning for the new state-licensed pharmacy started more than two years ago. Architect Joe Colome, who’s done lots of work for the university, gutted and redesigned it. Then, $250,000 and two and a half months later the pharmacy was complete. FAU hired Joel Greene, who has over 20 years of experience in the pharmacy business, as the pharmacy director. “Before we even had a Band-Aid in stock he was here,” says Wallace, who hired Greene in December. “He has gone to great lengths to make the pharmacy what you see now.” A Massachusetts College of Pharmacy graduate, Greene couldn’t be happier with his job and the new pharmacy. “I get to spend a lot of time with the patients, something you can’t do at a regular pharmacy,” he says. “We are able to provide a lot more personal care.” Of all the services Greene takes most pride in the free consultations, which he says gives patients a chance to get their questions answered. The pharmacy is also equipped with a computer system called QS1 that monitors a patient’s different medications, alerting the staff of any contra interactions. “This system helps us make sure our clients aren’t talking two medicines that shouldn’t be taken together,” explains Wallace. The pharmacy now has almost 750 prescription drugs and 350 over the counter drugs (everything from first aid supplies, vitamins and sunscreen to condoms, contact lenses and cold medicines) in stock. And if they don’t have what a patient needs, they can get usually get it within a day, Greene says. The pharmacy also caters to the other campuses through their mailing service, which takes only a day or two, he says. Students only pay additional cost of postage. In an average day Greene fills about 40 to 50 prescriptions, each taking only about 5 to 10 minutes compared to the one or two hours it takes most pharmacies, he says. Some of the most popular items are birth control pills, antibiotics and the Pharmacy’s newest item Airborne, an over the counter drug created by a school teacher that helps prevent the user from being infected by airborne germs. Right now Greene and two pharmacy technicians, both pharmacy students at FAU, are the pharmacy’s only permanent staff members. Greene hopes to be able to expand the staff, but he says that can’t happen until they get more room and increase the client base. For now the staff’s goal is just making customers happy. “We are working hard to provide them with the best prices, and giving them fast, friendly, and efficient service,” Greene says. In fact, keeping patients happy is what he loves most about his job. “I love interacting with patients, especially students,” he says. “It makes me feel young and reminds me of my college days. It’s very rewarding being able to make a difference in someone’s life.” For more information on the new pharmacy go to www.shs.fau.edu/pharmacy or call (561) 297-0072.

FAU Pharmacy Hours

Monday 10:00 am – 6:00 pmTuesday 9:00 am – 5:00 pmWednesday 9:00 am – 5:00 pmThursday 12:00 pm – 8:00 pmFriday 9:00 am – 5:00 pmSaturday CLOSEDSunday CLOSED* FAU Pharmacy is closed on all State holidays.

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