The Prospector

UTEP, UMC partner to create new pharmacy for students

Courtesy+of+UTEP+Communication.+%0A
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UTEP, UMC partner to create new pharmacy for students

Courtesy of UTEP Communication.

Courtesy of UTEP Communication.

Courtesy of UTEP Communication.

Courtesy of UTEP Communication.

Brianna Chavez, Copy Editor

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UTEP students will soon be able to receive access to the seven University Medical Center pharmacies across El Paso thanks to a new partnership between UTEP and UMC.

The partnership comes after the university announced they would be closing the pharmacy at the Student Health and Wellness Center.

The partnership, which was announced on Dec. 20., allows student to purchase prescription medications both on- and off-campus starting on Jan. 2, 2019.

“We thank our partners at UMC for not only enabling us to broaden our pharmaceutical services for UTEP students, but for their collaborations with us on so many other fronts as well,” said UTEP President Dr. Diana Natalicio.

Unlike the pharmacy at the Student Health and Wellness center, students will be able to access the pharmacies at their convenience as many of the pharmacies are open six days a week from the mornings to the early evenings as well as during the Spring and Winter breaks.

They will also be able to purchase prescriptions at the same or even lower cost then they would have at the Wellness Center.

Students will now be able to use to use health insurance to pay for prescriptions which was not available to students before.

“Through this program, we are hoping to take one less concern away from students so they can focus on their education while having much greater access to the prescriptions they need, at the same low prices they’ve come to expect,” said Jacob Cintron, UMC President and CEO.

In October, The Prospector reported the pharmacy at the Wellness Center would close on Dec. 14, 2018 due to a decrease in pharmacy usage and an increase in demand of other services at the center.

Vice President of Student Affairs, Gary Edens, told the Prospector back in October that the university was seeing a demand of one-on-one interaction with a nurse practitioner than the need for a pharmacist.

“So, what we thought made more sense was to close the pharmacy, use those savings to hire additional people in the health center so that students won’t have to wait, can get more immediate attention, get the services that people are asking us for,” Edens said.

Shortly after the announcement, the Student Government Association introduced a proposal to help keep the pharmacy open by getting the university to change its operating class from a Class A to a Class D pharmacy.

According to the Texas State Board of Pharmacy, a Class A pharmacy is authorized to dispense drugs or devices to the public under a prescription order. These pharmacies can dispense controlled substances—medications that can cause physical and mental dependence and are illegal to consume without a prescription.

SGA was unable to keep the pharmacy open with its proposal, but it did play a major part in working with UMC as well as the UTEP’s Division of Student Affairs and the College of Health Sciences.    

Pharmacy access is just one of the healthcare services that UTEP provides for its students. UTEP provides affordable health insurance through the Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) and medical care at the Student Health and Wellness Center.

For more information on the UMC pharmacies and their locations visit www.umcelpaso.org

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UTEP, UMC partner to create new pharmacy for students