Prescription Drug Vending Machines

Gone are the days when all vending machines sold were sugary or salty snacks, sodas or soggy sandwiches.

In something of a genius move, patients attending Blue Island Illinois’, MetroSouth Medical Center’s emergency department can fill their prescriptions before they even leave the hospital.  No more driving around searching for an open drug store in the middle of the night.  That’s because the hospital is the first in the state to install InstyMeds, a 24-hour vending machine which immediately dispenses most medications prescribed for emergency room patients.

Like a cross between an ATM and a soda machine, InstyMeds is available for all emergency department and same day surgery patients with commercial insurance who need a prescription filled immediately.  By entering a special code provided by the emergency department physician who has pre-entered the prescription details electronically, InstyMeds dispenses medications such as antibiotics, analgesia, eye drops and allergy medicine, among others.

We really like this program because our patients can go right home after visiting the emergency department, any time of day or night,” explains Dr. Eric Nussbaum, Chairman, MetroSouth Medical Center emergency department.  “Patients love this program because they don’t have to wait in line at the drugstore with a sick child and the prescription is the exact same price.”

Using an easy touch screen, InstyMeds automatically determines each patient’s insurance co-pay and the cost of the prescription then processes the patient’s payment using a credit or debit card.  It even has a built-in telephone and help-line so patients that can ask questions about the medicines they have been prescribed.

No more standing in line at a retail pharmacy. No more forgetting or procrastinating about filling your prescription. This really is medicine where you want it, when you want it.

SRxA’s Word on Health is impressed.  Have you used an Instymed?  Share your experiences with us.