All 3 on-campus pharmacies at Rutgers University in New Jersey are expected to shut down by the end of this fall.1

Hurtado Health Center, Busch-Livingston Health Center, and Cook Douglass Health Center will be closing after more than a year of discussion, mainly due to budget constraints and a decline in use by the students in most recent years, according to the university’s student newspaper, The Daily Targum.1

Rutgers University is following the path that several chains and independent pharmacies across the nation have taken with their decision to close, as they feel this is a current trend in health care. Many of these pharmacies are driven to this decision from the popularity of mail-order prescription services, increase in specialty pharmacies, and decreased reimbursement from insurers.1,2

In an email to Pharmacy Times, Neal Buccino, Associate Director of Public and Media Relations for Rutgers University, said that students will still be taken care of following the announcement to close these pharmacies.2

“Service to students will continue without interruption,” he said.2 “The pharmacy at Hurtado Health Center will continue to operate until we transfer all existing prescriptions to local pharmacies close to campus. Students will then have the option of obtaining their medications at those pharmacies or through a next-day delivery service to the Student Health Centers. Students may also choose to transfer their prescriptions to a pharmacy of their choosing. We will provide students with detailed information about these options during the coming weeks.”

While there are issues facing student pharmacies, a focus on mental health has become more prominent for many campuses across the country. Rutgers University, for example, is taking more initiative to provide mental health resources for students, along with physical health services.

“We have created several programs, such as Community-Based Counseling and Next Step, to provide a wide range of support to students with varying levels of need,” Neal stated.2 “Student Affairs and the university as a whole provide a number of resources for physical health including Menus of Change and all the services offered by Recreation. The university is constantly assessing how to best serve our students.”

The university will be hiring more staff in the psychiatric and drug counseling services, but due to its financial situation, more of the pharmacy staff will be laid off. The number of employees being laid off has not been decided.1

  1. Rutgers will close all student pharmacies on campus later this fall. The Daily Targum website. Published September 3, 2019. Accessed September 9, 2019.
  2. Neal Buccino. Interest in Closing of Student Pharmacies [email]. Accessed September 9, 2019.