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Increase in Prescriptions moves Industry toward Pharmacy Automation


According to Medical News Today, doctors in the United States wrote over 4 billion prescriptions in 2011. (Medical News Today, 2012) The study published in the ACS Chemical Neuroscience Journal focused on antipsychotic prescriptions, such as those used to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder, bipolar, and depression. With physicians administering so many mind-altering substances, it is more important than ever to integrate pharmacy automation.



Corporate Responsibility

Pharmaceutical corporations must show corporate responsibility for the prescription drugs they produce. Antipsychotic, antidepressant, and opioid pain medications represented some of the Top 20 Products by Prescription according to the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics review of medicine use in 2010. Physicians diagnose patients based on their symptoms and prescribe the best medication available for treatment. Companies producing these prescription medications have a responsibility to the public to produce them in safe, controlled, and clean manner. Once the medications leave the manufacturer, it becomes the responsibility of the pharmacy professionals to ensure safe and controlled delivery of the substances to the public.

Better, Cleaner Pill Counting

The pharmacist has a great responsibility in his profession. He must ensure each patient receives the right medicine. He must check for interactions between prescriptions. In addition, the pharmacist makes a personal connection with his patients so they feel safe under his care. As part of his commitment to excellence and responsibility to his patients, the pharmacist must consider pharmacy automation.

Pharmacy automation involves the use of machines to ensure safe, clean dispensing of prescription medications. Pill counting equipment, such as Torbal’s DRX-500SX, provide a better way to count and dispense medicine. Set up is easy for the pharmacist, requiring only a bottle, the medication, and a push of the tare button. Once the machine is set up for dispensing a certain amount, the machine automatically calculates the amount of pills as the pharmacist pours them.

Pouring the pills directly into the bottle removes the risk of cross contamination, mix-ups, and broken pills. Automation of the entire process means it takes less time for setup and updating. Pharmacies using the Torbal DRX-500SX enter their inventory into the system and use the Advanced Pill Counting Accuracy feature to speed the process of distribution. The system also prints labels after count verification. Records update automatically within the software to show who dispenses what medication. The tracking features provide added security for pharmacy professionals proving they dispensed what the right amount of the right medication.

Speed of service, accurate dispensing, reduced risk of breakage and contamination justify the low cost of pharmacy automation. In the end, the benefits far outweigh the downfalls. For more information on this and other Torbal products, contact us.