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ATM-like machines now dispensing drugs

TORONTO, March 16 (UPI) -- A Canadian banking-like machine that dispenses prescription drugs is getting good reviews after several months of trials at a Toronto hospital.

The Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center installed the PharmaTrust kiosks in June, and in a three-month period, some 800 patients used the machines to obtain 1,200 prescriptions between June and September, the National Post reported.

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Of them, 95 percent said they had their drugs within five minutes, manufacturer PCS President Peter Suma, told the newspaper, and none of them got the wrong drugs.

The prescription is scanned on both sides, and PCA pharmacists in Oakville, west of Toronto, interact with the patient by video link and telephone, the report said.

The machines carry 340 different kinds of widely prescribed drugs, and once the pharmacist has verified the device has picked the right product, the machine dispenses the order.

Dr. Sharon Domb, medical director of family medicine at Sunnybrook, told the Post so far about a third of patients who used the machines found their medicine was not available, although PCA offers to deliver those orders to the patient's home the next day.

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