March 22, 2011

Can Pharmacy Mistakes Be Solved By Drug ATM?

News story with video of new drug dispensing machines in Colorado (lone Tree and Boulder)

Can Pharmacy Mistakes Be Solved By Drug ATM? - Denver News Story - KMGH Denver

LONE TREE, Colo. -- After making news when a pharmacist gave a customer the wrong prescription, Safeway is rolling out new automated prescription dispensers in Colorado.

The Script Centers work like automated teller machines. Customers who enroll in the program can pick up their medications at an automated machine at Safeway in Lone Tree and Boulder.

New medications are not dispensed in the machine. The store's pharmacy still requires face-to-face interaction for new medications and controlled medications like OxyContin.

Last month, Mareena Silva picked up medication at a Fort Lupton Safeway, only to learn the medicine was meant for someone else. Silva, who was 6 weeks pregnant, took one of the pills before she realized it wasn't the medicine she expected.

The pill was Methotrexate, and can cause birth defects or act as an abortion pill for pregnant women.

She's still being monitored to see if there are any effects on her pregnancy.

A Safeway spokeswoman told 7NEWS that the Script Center is not a response to that incident.

"We are seeing dozens of customers use this," said Brian Pavur, Safeway's pharmacy division operations manager.

Safeway has used the automated machines on the West Coast for years as a way to let customers pick up medication without having to wait in line.

"It's intended for refillable prescriptions, maintenance medications," said Pavur.

To access the prescription, customers must enroll with their birth date and Safeway prescription number. The kiosk prompts users to input their birth date, a user ID and a personal identification number, a security question and answer and gives the option to enter an e-mail address and phone number.

Instead of using a user ID and PIN, customers can choose to scan their fingerprint for one-touch access.

"Have you ever had an instance where it has made a mistake?" asked 7NEWS reporter Marshall Zelinger.

read rest of story and see videor

Posted by staff at March 22, 2011 07:10 AM