University Pharmacy, located on the ground floor of Towers Residential Suites, will close its door permanently Thanksgiving after ten years of business. The lease for the pharmacy will expire, and Wayne State will not renew the lease, said the drug store’s owner.
Last year, WSU officials told University Pharmacy owner Maria Young that she would have to vacate the retail space by August 2018, Young said.
Young was able to legally fight the university and extend her lease by two months. She added that she wants to fight longer but has run out of money for lawyers and court fees.
“The reality is that I didn’t get along with one person,” Young said. “The vice president of business operations. We have a long history of not getting along.”
Young said the university told her she has a bad business model and there is simply no need for a pharmacy on campus. However, there is already a lease for a new pharmacy opening in the Anthony Wayne Drive Apartments, said Timothy Michael, vice president of business operations.
Michael said a new pharmacy called Warriors Pharmacy will be built in the north wing of the apartments adjacent to the new Campus Health Center. The pharmacy will be owned by WSU alum Riad Zahr, Michael said.
The new health center and pharmacy are scheduled to open in April or May of 2019.
Michael declined to further comment on Young or University Pharmacy.
Young said she services about 130 students who have chronic conditions and need access to a pharmacy. The pharmacy’s vision was to help and listen to students when big pharmacies wouldn’t, she said.
Michael Bassil, a final-year pharmacy student, said Young had a different perspective and showed how involved and important pharmacists can be in the community.
Subsequent to University Pharmacy’s closure, there will be a five to six-month gap with no on-campus pharmacy. Many students will have to resort to using the Rite Aid or CVS on Woodward Avenue.
Young’s life will be completely different, she said. For now, she will focus on choosing and relocating her patients at another independent pharmacy. She said she will re-enter the pharmacy field, just not on WSU’s campus.
“It comes down to politics and I’m really not a politician,” Young said.
Cover photo by Jack Filbrandt