Apparently the College is getting into the pharmacy business.  As detailed in

 Berkshire Health Systems and Williams College have announced the development of a new retail pharmacy in Williamstown, expanding access to prescriptions, over-the-counter medications and many other products, in close proximity to the Williams campus.

I would guess that the vast majority of customers for the store will be Williams-connected people, simply because they are the people with the most convenient access to Spring Street.  Hopefully it will be able to generate enough business to stay in business.  As detailed by recent grad last fall, for some students having a pharmacy within walking distance will be a big upgrade:

I wasted so much time, up to my very last week at Williams, finding solutions to what should be the very simple issue of picking up prescriptions at Rite Aid. There’s prescription delivery to the health center, but the health center is open fewer hours than Rite Aid is; moreover, prescription restrictions exist. I remember one particular situation where I was prescribed a new medication that was restricted in such a way that I had to pick it up in X days, and they would not let me have it delivered; I had to pick it up in person. So I walked in single-digit weather to Rite Aid, taking a couple of freezing hours during a particularly busy week. Not a life-threatening situation, no, but one that, after a few times, definitely found me wishing I went to a school that wasn’t so darn remote.

The new store will be a big help to students like recent grad.  However, they are not counting solely on filling prescriptions to make money:

“The Williamstown Apothecary will carry a variety of vitamins, supplements and medications that are common to pharmacies, but also will have several items of interest to the college community,” said David MacHaffie, BHS’s director of retail and specialty services. “We will also have a selection of herbal medications and teas, flower essence tinctures, a line of high-quality skin care products, local organic hand-made soaps, and essential oils and diffusers, among other items of interest.”

I would love to know what kinds of items are “of interest to the college community.”  I would guess it would include over-the-counter birth control and pregnancy prevention products, but there are probably other things I’m not thinking of.

I doubt the College cares much about offending or competing with local pharmacy chains like Rite Aid, but I wonder how much of a hit the new store will be on the sales at other local pharmacies.

Hopefully the new apothecary (I love the name!) will be a big hit for everyone.

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