Robotic Dispensing Provides “Pour and Count” Delivery System – Offering Several Key Advantages Over “Unit of Use” Packaging

Robotic Dispensing Provides “Pour and Count” Delivery System – Offering Several Key Advantages Over “Unit of Use” Packaging

Two major ways of packaging prescriptions include the “pour and count” (P&C) method and the “unit of use” (UOU) method. With robotic dispensing, the P&C delivery system is used, and provides several advantages over the UOU method.

In an informative Pharmaceutical Commerce article Mike Coughlin, CEO of ScriptPro, contributes his knowledge and experience to support the case for P&C packaging. Below are just a few of the key areas detailing the benefits of P&C over UOU.

System Flexibility: Doctors can prescribe any pill quantity for the patient with P&C versus the UOU pre-set blister pack quantity that may result in pill wastage.

Ease of Use: For the patient, P&C provides both child-resistant and non-child-resistant packages which are consumer friendly. Child-resistant blisters in UOU are very difficult to use, especially by elderly or arthritic consumers.

Pill Wastage: When a prescription is written for a quantity of pills other than that available in a pre-packaged blister pack, the pharmacist has two choices:

a) Dispense the pills in the amount prescribed by cutting or otherwise manipulating the blister pack.
b) Give the customer the extra pills, which also creates waste and potential liability.

Among other issues, this demonstrates a waste in pills and in dollars.

Packaging and Handling Costs: P&C vials cost less than 10¢ per package to the pharmacist, on average. Blister packs will cost anywhere from 10¢ to over $1.00, depending on graphics and package construction.

Ordering/Invoicing/Paying: Each size UOU package is a separate SKU line item on orders and invoices. This contributes to additional time, labor, and possibility of error.

Tracking Lot Numbers and Expiration Dates: P&C, especially when used with a robotic system, requires only one entry to identify a batch and/or expiration date. UOU requires more labor and a complex storage and stock rotation.

Patient Safety: Many of the above points touch on the very important issue of patient safety. The bottom line is that there is a lower level of patient safety in the UOU system than in the P&C system.

ScriptPro’s robotic dispensing uses only the “pour and count” delivery system. To learn more click to read full article.