Beginning Thursday, Harts’ Pharmacists on Spring Street will no longer fill medical prescriptions and is preparing to sell the pharmacy components of its business. Harts’ will remain open as the only drug store on Spring Street, while the current pharmacist will begin working at the local Rite Aid, according to Ruth Harrison, director of the Health Center.
Steven Wiehl, who owns Harts’ Pharmacists, believes it to be economically sensible to sell the pharmacy component of the business, considering the current economic climate. “[We’ve experienced] diminishing profits from year to year on prescriptions to the point where the pharmacy is losing money,” Wiehl said. “We’ve decided to merge the pharmacy with Rite Aid for the students’ convenience.”
Harts’ will continue to provide non-pharmaceutical products such as toiletries and over-the-counter medication. The store will also begin providing more stationery supplies to fill in the commercial gap left in the absence of McClelland’s, which closed its doors on Spring Street earlier this year but continues to maintains a store location in North Adams.
In accordance with state regulations, the College Health Center cannot fill prescriptions. Students are required to pick up prescriptions at one of the local pharmacies that accept their insurance in order to receive their prescribed medication. Because the nearest pharmacy is now at Rite Aid on Main Street, students will need to either find car transportation or take a 30 minute walk to fill their prescriptions.
“[The Health Center is] trying to work out something with Rite Aid [and] make arrangements to make it easier for students to get their prescriptions,” Harrison said. Harrison explained that Harts’ is frequented by students because of its location, but the pharmacy is not affiliated with the College at all.
The Health Center plans to use Williams Students Online (WSO) and Daily Messages to provide students with information concerning pharmacies where they can pick up prescriptions. Harrison added that students can call Harts’ pharmacy at 413-458-5757 if they have any questions concerning pending prescriptions.