New Health Service Pharmacy May Ease Drug-Price Burden

The University Health Services is formulating plans for a new pharmacy of its own to combat the overpricing of prescription drugs in Harvard Square.

Dr. Warren E.C. Wacker, director of University Health Services, yesterday said he will formally approach the Harvard Corporation sometime in May for permission to open the pharmacy. If permission is granted, the Health Services will begin setting up the pharmacy next October, he said.

Construction of the new pharmacy will require no extra license from the state because Harvard's Stillman Infirmary is a licensed pharmacy, Wacker said.

The planned pharmacy would be self-supporting and would sell prescriptions at prices as near to wholesale rates as possible, he said. It would not be able to fill prescriptions written by physicians outside of UHS.

Wacker said the new pharmacy will serve a double purpose. "It will protect members of the Harvard community from high prices on prescription drugs in the Square, and will provide Health Service physicians a trained pharmacist on the premises for consultation," he said.

Wacker said the question of space in UHS facilities poses one of the biggest problems in the current planning of the pharmacy. The Health Service administration must find a place for it in the UHS building at 75 Mt. Auburn St. because it would be a hospital pharmacy.

Wacker said that although the idea for a UHS pharmacy has been discussed since the fall of 1971, formal consultation with outside pharmacists on the project began only last summer