The Department of Health has been pushing the policy of alternative high volume methods of dispensing for some time. We know that they have visited two sites in the North West at Boots and Lloyds.
This week the Pharmaceutical Journal had an article on Hub and Spoke and with it came some further information and pictures from the Lloyds Pharmacy robot named CASI.
The article goes onto say that CASI is able to fill an MDS tray on average every 5 seconds. If you think of the time taken in a standard Pharmacy branch doing this manually you will understand the step change that automation is going to bring to Lloyds Pharmacy.
If you do not have a strategy of automation for your group then these images should tell you now is the time.
In addition this week Pharmacy2U launched a video showing inside its new automation hub. It is boasting that the capacity of the hub is one million items per month.
Both Lloyds Pharmacy and Pharmacy2u have spent many millions on creating large volume bespoke automation centres. Due to the size of the investment and the uniqueness of the facilities it will be difficult for others to copy these plans but it’s also not necessary, there is another way.
By using existing reliable more common automation technology then the benefits can be achieved by smaller organisations with significantly less investment.
There is no doubt that Hub & Spoke and automation is the future of Pharmacy Dispensing for groups with more than 15 branches. These images and videos show that the market is moving and you do not want to be left behind.