Fort Riley - Long waits can be common in the pharmacy section of Irwin Army Community Hospital.

With the opening of the new pharmacy Feb. 17 in the new Post Exchange, some of the long waits may be alleviated, as patients will now have another location to pick up their medications.

The pharmacy will be a full-service pharmacy that will offer customers refills, new prescriptions, and access to self-care medications and supplies such as Band-Aids.

According to Sgt. 1st Class Sheldon Groover, the noncommissioned officer in charge, one of the biggest advantages to the new pharmacy is because it is located in the PX it offers customers the chance to drop their prescriptions off and do some shopping or have lunch and pick their medications up later.

The pharmacy in the PX also may help control the spread of germs which cause illness, because people walking around will not be waiting in a small area, and will be less likely to be exposed to a virus from someone else waiting.

Non-formulary, or special order, medications only will be available at the hospital pharmacy, and customers who would like expedited service should also utilize the hospital pharmacy by calling in their refill and picking it up 24 to 48 hours later.

Those who will continue to use the hospital pharmacy may still see the advantage of shorter wait times resulting from more people using the PX pharmacy.

Residents in Junction City also may appreciate the location. Since the new PX is located close to the Trooper Drive gate, Soldiers and Family members who live in Junction City will no longer have to travel all the way to the hospital for their medications.

Five technicians and two pharmacists will staff the new pharmacy. The technicians are responsible for filling medications and answering patient questions. Pharmacists will not only supervise the technicians, but also answer any patient questions the technicians can't.

"Based off the mission we'll determine whether that's too much staff or too little," Groover said.

The pharmacy hours will be from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. Monday through Friday with the exception of federal holidays.