Mercer students need an on-campus pharmacy

Recent advancement in medicine has produced a society in which many individuals regularly take easily obtainable prescription drugs, from birth control, to Adderall, to depression and anxiety medication. All of these examples prove especially important in a college setting. Birth control helps keep a female student on a regular and manageable cycle, removing an extra burden from her mind. Adderall helps keep an ADHD student in a focused mindset, aiding him in completing the task at hand. Depression and anxiety medication help balance students transitioning into an adult life laden with responsibilities. These medicines are important in maintaining a physically and mentally healthy life in college, and need to be readily available to those students who have prescriptions.

Many other Georgia colleges do offer on campus pharmacies just for this reason. According to their university websites, the University of Georgia and Georgia Tech both offer on-campus pharmacies which carry both prescription and over-the-counter medications, and work to keep the cost at or below competitive prices. In the instance that a student needs a medicine which is not readily available, the pharmacy can order any prescriptions to be delivered to the site. Georgia Southern University offers a bit more restrained access to medication. Their website states that its Health Services Pharmacy can fill out generic and affordable prescriptions written by their approved Health Services providers. Mercer, though it has its own pharmacy school, does not provide an on-campus pharmacy to its students. Its Health Services website explains that it only can receive deliveries from four local pharmacies, and graciously points students in the direction of the closest CVS and Kroger on Pio Nono Avenue. These options, while possible if not greatly inconvenient, prove less viable for students without vehicles. They would either need to hassle with the trolley, or hope a non-judgmental friend would take them without questioning. These inconveniences prevent many students from continuing their prescriptions, which could lead to serious problems.

Easier access to medication is a necessity which would improve the overall health and well-being of Mercer’s students, and therefore its whole campus. Establishing a Macon campus pharmacy would accomplish not only this, but would also procure more jobs for Mercer’s own pharmacy school graduates, and open up more proximal shadowing opportunities for pre-pharmacy undergraduates. Expanding the Health Center to include a pharmacy would benefit the university in many aspects, and needs to be considered. I urge Mercer to seriously consider this plan and to act swiftly in its implementation.