From my perspective, here are eight key ScriptPro Robot advantages:
1. Universal drug cells that are easy for pharmacy staff to adjust for any tablet/capsule
Competitors either require factory adjustment (such as some machines that are manufactured in Japan) or involve complicated trial and error procedures. This is a huge differentiator that continues to increase in importance as generic drugs proliferate. A few weeks ago, one of our people visited a chain store and the staff told him that 30 of the 60 drug cells in their robot were out of service since the chain had procured different generics. Another chain installed a large fleet of robots many years ago and initially expected pharmacy staff to calibrate the drug cells. They gave up on this and had staff send the drug cells to a central facility for calibration. ScriptPro has the only system on the market that is truly easy to calibrate and clean on-site at the pharmacy.
2. Dust free, contamination free dispensing
Machines using compressed air to circulate pills in the drug cell and push them through the nozzle at high speed have been proven to generate pharmaceutical dust that permeates the air and is inhaled by pharmacy staff and others in the vicinity of the machine. ScriptPro sponsored independent studies of these machines operating in pharmacies and the results were truly shocking – to the air quality research firm conducting the studies, to the two prominent scientists who peer reviewed the work, and to pharmacists in the stores who observed the readings on the instruments as the air samples were being taken. The studies correlated the chemical makeup and concentrations of pill dust in the air with the dispensing functions of the machines.
The studies also included pharmacies using ScriptPro robots and pharmacies dispensing manually. Dust levels in ScriptPro pharmacies were even lower than in those dispensing manually.
3. Labeling after the fill
ScriptPro prints and applies the label after the vial is filled. Every other robot labels as a vial is retrieved from the vial dispenser and before it is filled. So, ScriptPro offers the only machine that produces an accurately labeled vial when there is a filling exception – such as when the drug cell runs out and the pharmacy elects to send out a partial fill or cancel the fill and return the contents to stock. With all other machines the vial comes out with a label that shows no exceptions and staff must manually correct or replace the label.
4. Front access only
ScriptPro offers the only robot that can be placed against the wall, inside a standard pharmacy bay (our CRS model), or have shelving on the back. All other robots require access from front, back, and at least one end. ScriptPro’s design is much easier to fit into a pharmacy.
5. Drug database
ScriptPro provides its own drug database for labeling and image verification. There are many advantages to this database over the limited features provided by other vendors.
6. Size range
ScriptPro offers six robot sizes and three outfeed options. All of our robots use the same dispensing technology and have the distinguishing characteristics outlined above. Other vendors offer a single model or a very limited number of size and outfeed options.
7. Robotic cell multiplexors
The larger ScriptPro robots can be equipped with devices that allow simultaneous counting. This allows very high volume pharmacies to boost their robot throughput to meet high volume demands.
8. Reliability and support
ScriptPro robots use a single, very high quality robotic arm to activate and control all dispensing functions. There are no motors or electronic components in the drug cells. The cells can even be washed in a dishwasher. This design, along with ScriptPro’s commitment to excellence in customer support, provides the highest level of reliability in the industry.
In summary, I suggest you always look “under the hood” to understand the differences in pharmacy dispensing robots. When you see complexity, you can expect problems with reliability and ease of use. While other vendors may focus simply on the output of the machine and the price, what’s under the hood will become important to the users of these systems. A cursory observation of the drug cells offered by the various manufacturers will tell you a lot. The simplicity of the patented ScriptPro drug cell is readily apparent when compared with the others.
The excellent ScriptPro design also explains its longevity. We have built the design features listed above into every robot we have manufactured since serial #1 in 1997. Thousands of improvements have been retrofitted to this platform, but the basic design is as solid as ever. We do not see that changing. You can contrast this with the experience of our competitors who followed our lead into the pharmacy robotics revolution, but have obsoleted their robots and started over several times.
These are the top level factors I believe set ScriptPro robots apart from all others.