As the state hunkers down for another long Michigan winter, the need for medicines to treat everything from a runny nose to the flu is high. So where can students and faculty have their prescriptions filled?

There’s always the Village Apothecary on South University Avenue, but the list pretty much ends there.

Maggie Ladd, the South University business director said the South University corridor is the only location close to campus to have a drug store. She said it’s because there simply isn’t a retail space large enough for a major drugstore chain.

Bill Milliken, President of Michigan’s Commercial Board of Realtors, said commercial drugstores like CVS Pharmacy or Walgreen’s would need a 14,000-square-foot space. Also, the store would have to be in an area that could support high traffic because large drugstores generally receive 20,000 to 25,000 customers a day, Milliken said.

Despite these concerns, a CVS Pharmacy almost came to the campus area when the Steve and Barry’s apparel store filed for bankruptcy. Steve and Barry’s was forced to vacate its large State Street location and CVS Pharmacy expressed interest in moving into the space. But the owner of the building opted for another clothing store, M-Den, instead.

Tom Heywood, State Street business director, said there used to be a drug store at the corner of Washington Street and State Street, but the owner decided to close it down to build a new building.

Heywood added there is a definite need for a major drugstore close to campus, because it is inconvenient for students to drive to buy the everyday necessities that a drugstore offers.

Though there still isn’t a drugstore on State Street, students can get their prescriptions filled at the University pharmacy — a part of University Health Services.

Gwen Chivers, the ancillary director of the University pharmacy, said the pharmacy offers many different services and tries to negotiate low prices that can be passed on to students.

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