Prescription medication containers and pills

Gotta stop at the ATM for some cash – and some penicillin..?!

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science.

You swing by the pharmacy, but the line is taking FOREVER. Do you wait? Or do you run to your next errand, completely forgetting your meds?

Enter Jan Hirsch from the University of California, Irvine and colleagues. They wondered —  what if picking up your prescription could be as easy as stopping at the ATM?!

Hirsch and team created an automated pharmacy kiosk — a “pharma-ATM!”. They gave it a test drive at a hospital in San Diego. They monitored how quickly prescriptions were picked up over nearly three years! They also tracked how much time pharmacists spent consulting with patients over the phone.

Results? Fewer people abandoned their meds — many even picked them up a day earlier! Plus, over NINETY percent of pharmacists said answering medication questions over the phone was a breeze!

The researchers hope pharma-ATMs will make abandoned prescriptions ancient history. So long pharmacy lines!

Now…ack. . .WHAT was my pin number again?

Reference: Hirsch, J. D., San Agustin, K., Barnes, C., Agarwal, A., Allen, K., Rivera, S., Laufer, D., Maria, R., Lake, S., & Daniels, C. E. (2020). Impact of a contactless prescription pickup kiosk on prescription abandonment, patient experience, and pharmacist consultations. Journal of the American Pharmacists Association.