Wicker’s Rx distribution policy: inconvenient and potentially dangerous

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By Charles Meyers

With the modernization and relocation of Health Services,  I expected certain things to change for the better, including speedier distribution of medication, as well as increased hours of operation. However, I was wrong in my assumptions; in fact, things have gotten worse.

The Wicker Wellness Center only distributes prescriptions between 11 a.m. and 12 p.m. and 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. If you go outside of those hours, then you cannot get your medication. Recently, a student who is diabetic went to go pick up her insulin but was told to come back during the assigned medication distribution hours. It was only after she impressed upon the staff how dangerous it would be if she did not immediately have access to her insulin that they relented and gave her the medication.  Firstly, that is absolutely ridiculous! To tell a patient that she can’t have something she medically needs simply because they are a couple of hours early is just silly and irresponsible, especially in the case of insulin.

When I asked why they changed the hours, I was told that they were getting “swamped” during all hours of the day. Did they consider that maybe this was because students needed that medication at all hours of the day? Is it really that much better that they will be swamped between the designated hours? This doesn’t seem particularly logical.

Additionally, why isn’t common lunch a time for people to pick up medication? The Wellness Center is closed between 12 p.m. and 1 p.m., so why couldn’t medication distribution be between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m., the one time everyone is free?

What about the people who are not available for either of the currently allotted times?

Well Wicker Wellness has an answer for that, and it’s also ridiculous. If you are unable to pick up your medication, then you can call ahead and tell them that a friend will be picking it up for you. Of course, you’ll also need to give your friend your ID card. That is the worst way to counteract the fact that they chose two hours out of the day where people might be free.

Firstly, who is going to order their friends to walk all the way to the top of campus, wait in line with everyone else and then bring their medication home for them?

Secondly, if you are having a difficult time getting your medication, you’re also probably going to have a difficult time giving your friend your ID card.

Furthermore, why would you give controlled substances to anyone but the patient to whom they are prescribed?

Just because they say that you must call ahead and let them know that someone else will be picking them up, doesn’t make it a sound policy. With the awareness about the misuse of prescription drugs, you would think that someone would have thought through the dangers of this policy from an administrative perspective. Since ADD medications are distributed in large batches, it would be incredibly easy for a friend to take a few without the prescribed patient noticing.

There is an easy solution. Just  re-open medication pickup for all hours! I haven’t heard a valid reason as to why those two hours are the best hours, or  why they should be the only hours.  I think that Health Services should go back to the old policy. Maybe it’s a little inconvenient for the staff to be interrupted and have to take 45 seconds to go get a student’s medication, but considering how horrible this alternative is, I think it’s definitely manageable.

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