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AUTOMATED MEDICINE DISPENSING SYSTEM PROVIDING FASTER AND MORE EFFICIENT DISPENSING AT PHARMACY ESSENTIALS The automated medicine dispensing system at Pharmacy Essentials is offering huge savings in waiting time for Macleay Island patients. The Alpaca blister pack dispensing system was installed almost a year ago. Learning and tweaking the system in that time has made Pharmacy Essentials far more efficient, now offering an unprecedented medicine packing service. Pharmacy owner ,George Economous, admits the latest technology has taken some learning and refining. “I have to say that the system is now operating at its maximum use and capacity. “Our dispensing of packed medicines is not only faster and better than ever before, but it is totally hands free. “I would never have thought in my time as a pharmacist that you would see such a system in place,” George told The Friendly Bay Islander. The Alpaca system that has been installed has now been refined to such an extent, that savings in time and speed are spectacular. George explained: “We have refined it to the point that every customer in need of their regular medications prescribed by their doctor, are now identified by a bar code in the system. “From our computer at the counter we send the information to the Alpaca, and it can select and pack into individualised blister packs, the client’s medication in literally seconds. “Not only that, the medication is placed in daily individual ‘blisters’ to be used by the patients,” pharmacist George says. It all starts with a blister stripping device that loads tablets from the major drug companies, into special multiple containers that are loaded into the Alpaca system. Once the patient’s medication profile is identified and processed by the computer, the robotic Alpaca system does the rest and the patient is then handed their own personal blister pack that offers hourly or daily medicines that make it a simple process for the patient to follow. The system is mostly run by well-known pharmacy team member Len. She has it down to a fine art, according to George Economous. “We really do have the system working brilliantly now, allowing the rest of our staff to provide a more personal and inter-active pharmacy service,” George Economous said. Incidentally, the medical service is FREE to veterans with an approved script, and to CTG registered patients without prior authority.

• George Economous and Lin with the Alpaca Robotic medicine dispensing system.

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