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UCC may lose pharmacy
USC, drug store differ on state of negotiations
By Joel Brown
The Western On Campus Pharmacy, located in the basement of the University
Community Centre, may leave campus if its management is unable to come to
terms on a new lease with the University Students' Council.
The store's lease expired last fall and pharmacy owner Al Jiwaji said
there is a possibility he may close his store if new terms are not agreed
upon. Tentative plans for a clearance sale have been discussed, he added.
While both sides said negotiations are continuing and they are hoping for
a quick resolution, it is unclear how effective talks have been.
Jiwaji was unwilling to reveal what issues need to be resolved for fear
that it may further separate the two sides.
"I do not want to jeopardize the already tense situation that has been
created by [these] negotiations," Jiwaji said.
USC assistant general manager Mark Osborne described the negotiations as
"very amicable" and said there is a small chance the pharmacy will have to
"We've been having great negotiating sessions with Al," Osborne said.
"We're just going through the processes right now."
Jiwaji's pharmacy has been in the UCC for six years.
Both sides were unwilling to discuss a deadline for a new lease agreement,
but Osborne said the USC hopes an agreement will be reached in the near
future. "The sooner the better for everyone," he said.
According to Osborne, while there is a "less than one per cent chance"
Jiwaji will shutdown his operations, the USC has considered what it would
do to replace the pharmacy.
"We'd find another pharmacy to come in under roughly the same terms,"
Osborne said. "We'll make sure that the service stays in place."
Access to the USC health plan and its coverage for various prescription
drugs would not be affected if a changeover were delayed since a handful
of off-campus pharmacies accept the insurance directly, Osborne said.
Pharmacy customer Theresa Marshall, a first-year administrative and
commercial studies student, said she in not too concerned about the
possibility of the pharmacy closing. "It would be nothing really," she
said. "But, I must admit, it is really convenient if you just want to get