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Drug vending machines to go on trial

Published on 24/06/2010
Those in need of prescription medication outside of normal pharmacy opening times may soon be able to pick them up from a drug vending machine.

An automated dispenser is to go on trial in the UK for the first time, according to the Daily Mail.

Initially, the machines will be placed in five hospitals around the country.

But their manufacturer, Canadian firm PharmaTrust, hopes in the future they will be installed in high streets, shopping centres and rural locations.

The dispenser, called a MedCentre, can scan prescriptions inserted into it.

Users then pick up a phone to access live video link to a registered pharmacist who checks the prescription before allowing the machine to dispense the drugs.

However, a spokesman for the National Pharmacy Association told the news provider: "It could never be an adequate substitute for your local community pharmacy, where a range of services are available beyond dispensing, such as health checks, medicine reviews and lifestyle interventions."

A recent survey by Lloyds pharmacy found more than a million people a year are risking their health by using medication prescribed to someone else who no longer needs them.
© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2010

Categories:  Medical
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