Students will soon have another option for their pharmacy needs.
CVS Pharmacy is scheduled to open Jan. 23 in the University Gateway complex on Figueroa and 32nd Streets, according to Michael DeAngelis, the director of public relations for CVS.
The only pharmacies currently available near campus for students is the USC Pharmacy located on the first floor of the Student Union Center and the pharmacy in the University Village.
John Hrovat, director of Urban Partners, LLC, the developers of Gateway, wrote in an e-mail that he thinks both USC students and the surrounding area will benefit from the addition of CVS.
“University Gateway is very excited to have CVS as part of the retail mix,” Hrovat wrote. “We knew that adding a CVS at Gateway would not only be a good fit with the building – but an excellent service to the community.”
The hours for CVS will be 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Mondays through Fridays, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m on Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. The hours for the USC Pharmacy are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Mondays through Fridays.
“It’s convenient to use a CVS,” Hrovat said. “You can drive there, park and go in. We’re not going to operate 24 hours from the get-go, but we will probably work up to it.”
Justin Lacey, a senior majoring in finance and accounting, said the longer hours would entice more students to go to CVS.
“The hours for the USC Pharmacy are not long at all,” Lacey said. “So if another place has more opportunities for student to pick up meds and stuff then they’ll definitely go there.”
Mackenzie Martin, a junior majoring in health and humanity, said she is excited for CVS to open because she has found that the USC Pharmacy tends to be expensive.
Despite some beliefs that the USC Pharmacy is more expensive than other pharmacies, Michael Rudolph, executive director of the USC Pharmacy, said there is no significant price difference between products sold at CVS or at the USC Pharmacy.
“We specifically offer generic alternatives to most over-the-counter products with large savings for our students,” Rudolph said.
Although the CVS in Gateway will provide students with another pharmaceutical option, Rudolph said he is not worried about the competition because the USC Pharmacy offers a range of products and services that are unique to students.
“The USC Pharmacies offer many programs for students, including smoking cessation, asthma and diabetes management and numerous other student-centered education programs to help proactively provide medication and disease management,” Rudolph said.
Cathy DeFrancesco, senior associate administrator and student health plans administrator for the University Park Health Center, said the USC Pharmacy customizes its services for students.
“The pharmacists and the pharmacy staff have worked to build relationships with their student customers, and I know that this level of caring is important to students and their families,” DeFrancesco said.
For students, the decision about which pharmacy to shop at might depend on which store is more convenient.
Nicole Cruz, a junior majoring in Italian and psychology, said the USC Pharmacy’s unique student services wouldn’t be enough to draw her away from CVS.
“I don’t have much free time, so I would probably just go to CVS since it’s closer to me,” Cruz said.