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Goop Reevaluates Rebate Association With Baker Drugs


The Harvard Coop is investigating its rebate policy with Chester Baker Pharmacy as a result of a student survey made last spring on drug prices in Harvard Square pharmacies.

The survey, which was conducted under the auspices of University Health Services, found that six pharmacies nearest the Square had consistently higher prices that outlying drug stores. Chester Baker, which has an arrangement with the Coop whereby Coop members can get a rebate on drugs purchased there, was included in the survey.

The study failed to substantiate Baker's claims to Howard W. Davis, Coop general manager, that a previous UHS study had shown his prices were 25 per cent lower than average Square prices. Davis said last week that a student committee from the Board of Directors is investigating whether the Coop should continue its relationship with Baker.

Nancy Glimcher '74, a member of the committee, said yesterday that the Coop may decide to alter its present charge policy with Baker after a conference with the owner on Tuesday.

A pharmacist at Baker said last week that he had no comment on the survey. The problem is entirely between Mr. Davis and UHS," he added.

Druggists at three other pharmacies included in the survey charged that the report was superficial and distorted.

A pharmacist at Shepard Drug said that the varying prices are a result of the extra services the more expensive pharmacies provide, and the differences in the quality of generic, or non-brand name, drugs. "Your own doctor," he said, "would object to his family taking cheap generic drugs."

Dr. Briant L. Decker, physician to UHS, said yesterday. "The ultimate price you pay for a generic drug does not reflect its quality, but rather what the pharmacist wishes to charge. With a few exceptions, there are no differences among generic drugs."

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