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The Prescription Kiosk (ATM) Machine – A Visit with a Tele-Pharmacist

Posted Mar 14 2009 3:53pm 1 Comment

The machines have already been in use in Toronto, Canada for a few months, the green machines.  One comment I can’t let pass is if you are a physician and haven’t started e-prescribing yet, these machines only take e-prescribing, just something to think about as their existence  might push that envelope. 

The patient has a teleconference at the machine with a pharmacist.   Depending on what’s loaded in the machine, some might need an armed guard to watch over it, much like the pot vending machine in Los Angeles that has an armed guard watching over it.  There are 340 medications stored inside and the machine does the filling of the script and the tele-pharmacist verifies the machine's calculations before giving the ok.  So far the machine has not made any mistakes. 

It is an opportunity for hospitals to earn some money from having the kiosks in their facility.  With 340 drugs, it’s not going to be able to do all the image prescriptive needs, but perhaps could handle many commonly prescribed generic medications.  As mentioned below, the page states they are in talks with negotiating with the US and the UK, so who knows where we go from there, encounters with a green drug kiosk may be in our future, talk about going green.  BD   

From the website:

“PharmaTrust is focused on improving communication between patients, physicians and pharmacists to enhance patient Care, Convenience and Choice. It can be deployed in hospitals, medical clinics, pharmacies and similar health care facilities.

PharmaTrust automation frees pharmacists from some routine tasks enabling them to maximize their time with patients, and supports physicians with medication data and health record information as they prescribe.”

Hundreds of Toronto patients have been picking up their prescription drugs in recent months much as they withdraw cash or buy a can of cola -- from special vending machines that some observers believe could transform the pharmacy business.

Customers insert their prescription into a slot in the device and a few minutes later, it spits out their medication.

Proponents say the Canadian-made drug kiosks, which feature a video link to a real pharmacist, offer convenience when there is no pharmacy open or close by. Skeptics, though, warn the machines will never duplicate the benefits of meeting in person with a druggist.

When customers insert their prescription, the ATM-like machine -- made by PCA Services Inc., -- snaps high-resolution photographs of both sides and transmits them to a pharmacist waiting in the firm's Oakville, Ont., call centre.

Meanwhile, PCA is on the verge of striking deals with major clients in the U.S. and U.K. In those cases, the company plans to partner with another organization, which would run the call centre, much as RIM works with cell-phone networks to provide BlackBerry service, Mr. Suma said.

Toronto vending machines dispense prescription drugs

Comments (1)
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I`m a student at a design university in Romania and I am making my
bachelor work on ATM drug kiosks. Could you give more information
about the vending machine?
How does it work? From what materials is it made from?
I would be very greatfull if you could give me some pictures with the
ATM.
Best regards!
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