In two West Sussex Sainsbury’s outlets, a prescription drug vending machine has been fitted. The customers will place their prescription in the machine and the machine will ask for customer’s fingerprint or a unique ID. If the machine recognizes the ID or the fingerprint, then the chemist will put the drugs in the machine and the customers will be able to collect it.
Every machine will have the capacity to contain around 450 packets of the prescribed drugs.
These machines are installed on an experimental basis and if it becomes successful, then these machines will certainly reduce the waiting time in the long queues.
At present, the machines will work only for the regularly prescribed medicines and not for the newly prescribed ones.
According to a customer, Roy Swift, it took time to get attune to the new machine, but now he feels comfortable and can easily access the machine.
The Chairman of the British Medical Association GP Committee, Dr. Laurence Buckman is not backing these vending machines. According to him, “Giving out medicine is not just box-shifting. The patient doesn't know if there are any questions that need to be asked or answered.”
He further states that a pharmacist can assist the patients in a better way about the usage of the drugs, which a machine cannot do.