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Students at the University of Charleston, W.V.'s pharmacy school will receive on-the-job, on-campus education when Walmart opens a pharmacy within the school this fall. The campus drug store, expected to open in about 60 days, will serve anyone with a prescription, though most customers will be UC students and faculty, as well as Kanawha City residents who live near campus. Over-the-counter medications will also be available.
"This will be a fully functional licensed pharmacy," said UC President Ed Welch. "Our students will learn in a real pharmacy how to be a pharmacist." Bentonville, Ark.-based Walmart plans to hire a pharmacist, who also will serve on UC's adjunct facility.
UC officials had spoken with independent pharmacies and chain drug stores about opening a pharmacy on campus, according to Welch. Most small businesses balked at the proposal because it would be difficult to turn a profit at such a small facility while employing a full-time pharmacist, he added. Walmart was also skeptical until company managers learned UC's pharmacy school focuses on placing graduates at pharmacies in rural communities, the types of places where Walmart often opens its discount stores.