Pharmaceutical Vending Machines – An Overview

idsvending.com - Pharmacuetical Vending Machines - An Overview

The demand for pharmaceutical vending machines is rapidly evolving. With the rise of pharmacy intelligence and predictive analytics, as well as an increased need for a comprehensive end-to-end solution, healthcare executives must innovate to solve both new and old prescription management concerns (diversion, patient safety, and rising costs) to stay ahead of the curve.

Pharmaceutical vending machines can help fill this gap. They can augment the declining bandwidth of Pharmaceuticals. There are several applications of vending machines for the pharmacy industry. Sales of nonprescription or OTC drugs can be automated with their help. They can also help control access to medication or products that need authentication, like narcotics. Other non-medical products like sanitary products, PPE kits, contraceptives and personal grooming products can be sold through vending machines. This frees up the bandwidth of the pharmacist for transactions that need their participation.

Benefits for Healthcare units and Medical Practitioners

There is a growing demand for an increase in the quality of care provided by the healthcare industry. On the other hand, there are significant cost pressures. The only way this can be addressed for the pharmaceutical retail industry is by improving the efficiency of the channels of transactions. Vending machines can help achieve just that. Some of the benefits that the industry can experience are discussed below:

Saves Time

The staff can continue handling transactions that need attention while customers can buy from pharmaceutical vending machines. Qualified and skilled professionals can save time on non-critical transactions, allowing them to provide better care and attention to their customers.

Real-Time Data and Inventory Management

Like all highly regulated markets, the pharmaceutical retail market needs to demonstrate compliance at multiple levels. Inventory data of this industry is critical for several regulatory authorities like the FDA and DEA. Maintaining such copious records through manual data entry is a cumbersome process. Vending machines enabled with inventory management solutions are ideal for this problem. This combination automates data entry at the point of transaction, making real-time information available to those who need access to it.

24/7 Service

Medical Supply Dispensing pharmaceutical systems will cut down on waste and human error and better track the life-saving medications that fire paramedics use every day. In busy locations like airports, where the traffic might be high at any time, it is crucial to ensure the store is sufficiently staffed all day. Such sites are ideal for vending machines as they are not impacted by timings-related fatigue.

Better Customer Experience

Faster response and minimal human intervention are becoming the name of the game in almost any customer-facing industry today. Pharmaceutical vending machines are beneficial assets for your organization. Vending machines in medical retail deliver a unique and satisfying experience for customers who do not need access to prescription drugs.

Saves Cost

The average yearly income of staff who manage pharmaceuticals is almost twice that of the national average. Wasting such an expensive resource on transactions that can easily be automated is a drain on the business profitability. Using vending machines can help avoid this waste and save costs for the business.

Benefits for Consumers

Consumers are not always inclined to spend time waiting for medications. Pharmaceutical dispensing machines are placed at  emergency service facilities, such as hospitals and fire stations. They expect the service to be fast, accurate, and less invasive. As shown below, some of these problems can be addressed by vending machines.

Faster Service

Vending machines can provide access to selected products without age or prescription verifications. Machines are preloaded with product expiry and dosage specifications. Hence it takes much less time for an automated machine to vend a product than when a pharmacist has to read through the fine print to ensure customer safety. Moreover, with features like cashless payments and digital displays, the time spent by the customer is the least possible. The customer is in and out before they know it.

Fewer Human Interventions

Ever since the global COVID-19 pandemic, customers have preferred fewer human interactions. We might be past the peak of the worldwide catastrophe. Still, the social distancing and personal hygiene lessons it has taught us will stay with us. Pharmaceutical dispensing machines Vending machines minimize the number of human touchpoints in the purchase process.

Some products come with an associated stigma. Contraceptives and drug administration products are examples where the customer feels safer interacting with a machine. Some customers might resort to unsafe practices because of a lack of means for private transactions.

Lastly, the need for sanitary products, PPE kits or convenience medicines like nasal decongestants may arise at any time. Having convenient access to a vending machine that sells such products will help consumers get along with their day rather than spend more time than necessary at the pharmacist.

Limitations in Unmanned Pharmaceutical Vending

Pharmaceuticals can have a wide variety of applications, from mild symptomatic relief to life-saving drugs in hospitals and fire stations. Hence, the pharmacy retail industry is highly regulated. There are a lot of products that qualify for unmanned automated vending. Pharmaceutical vending machines must be used only for such products. It is important to remember that vending machines do not replace a qualified pharmacist. They augment their bandwidth and create a more efficient experience for the end consumers.

Summary

Pharmaceutical vending machines can reduce fatigue and the possible errors associated with it. Vending machines also automate data capture at the point of transaction, making real-time data available for those who need it. They can control access to drugs that require authentication.

Pharmacy vending solutions from UCapIt can help your businesses drive efficiency, save costs, improve profitability and deliver a good customer experience. To learn how our vending solutions can help you, call us at 1-877-771-4446.

  1. https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes291051.htm
  2. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/pharmacists.htm