MUSC The Catalyst
MUSC arial view


MUSC Medical Links Charleston Links Archives Catalyst Advertisers Seminars and Events Research Studies Public Relations Research Grants Catalyst PDF File MUSC home page Community Happenings Campus News Applause

MUSC Medical Links Charleston Links Archives Catalyst Advertisers Seminars and Events Research Studies Public Relations Research Grants MUSC home page Community Happenings Campus News Applause


Best-kept secret: MUSC's outpatient pharmacies

A growing minority of health care students misuse alcohol, and MUSC is not alone in this trend. Results from national studies show that 10 to 20 percent of health care students drink heavily and either have or are at risk forMUSC outpatient pharmacies offer employees and patients convenience and cost-savings that they will not be able to get at other places, said Leigh Howell of Pharmacy Services.
“MUSC has a tremendous resource that has been vastly underutilized,” she said.
Pharmacists Ashley Ramsey, Don Neuroth and Rebecca Britton and Rebecca Sammarro fill prescriptions at MUSC's outpatient pharmacy in Rutledge Tower.

Outpatient pharmacies are located in Rutledge Tower, Ashley River Tower, University Hospital and Hollings Cancer Center.  Employees and their family members can get prescriptions at any of these locations.  Patients that have seen a MUSC doctor also can also get their prescriptions filled on campus.
The physician may e-scribe or even tube prescriptions to the pharmacy, so they can be ready when the patient arrives to pick up the medications, Howell said. If there are problems with the prescription, the pharmacist will page the physician and usually get an immediate response. Outside retail pharmacies usually call the physician, resulting in a much longer time to correct the issue.      
Special discounts are available for employees with the State Health Plan to make co-pay amounts even lower. The over-the-counter selection may not be as extensive as other retail pharmacies, but the extremely low prices make it worthwhile, she said.
She recommends checking out the list of medications and prices at any of the outpatient pharmacies.  The four-dollar generic program is competitive with any chain pharmacy’s list and is available at  All locations are on the merchant list for the medical spending card. Patients and employees will no longer need to submit receipts for their expenses when using their medical spending card.  
Howell said there are several options available for patients or employees without insurance. Some brand medications can be acquired at a lesser price than the equivalent generic medication, so the medication dispensed is actually the brand at a generic price.
Samples for some expensive medications, such as insulin, may be used upon the doctor’s request. Prescription Assistance, located next door to Rutledge Tower Pharmacy, can help patients who meet certain financial qualifications get signed up to receive medications for free directly from the manufacturer.    
“The outpatient pharmacies of MUSC have the feel of an independent pharmacy because of the friendly staff, recognition of repeat patients, and accommodating atmosphere. Being a part of a major hospital allows for lower prices and great doctor-pharmacy relationships to ensure these pharmacies will be around for a long time to come.”


Friday, Sept. 10, 2010

The Catalyst Online is published weekly by the MUSC Office of Public Relations for the faculty, employees and students of the Medical University of South Carolina. The Catalyst Online editor, Kim Draughn, can be reached at 792-4107 or by email, Editorial copy can be submitted to The Catalyst Online and to The Catalyst in print by fax, 792-6723, or by email to To place an ad in The Catalyst hardcopy, call Island Publications at 849-1778, ext. 201.