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Virtual pharmacy kiosk in Tucson fills prescriptions in a few minutes

Posted at 9:30 PM, Jul 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-19 01:20:27-04

Standing in line to fill a prescription may cause you a headache, but we have some good news for you. There is a new way to do it at a pharmacy kiosk in Tucson.

MedAvail Technologies has deployed pharmacy kiosks in Tucson and Phoenix. The Tucson location is at El Herradero Supermarket on Flowing Wells and Prince. The kiosk has the functionalities of a brick-and-mortar pharmacy. The kiosks have a video chat function. Getting a prescription is as simple as tapping the start button that calls a pharmacist, who then comes up on a screen. The person then has to insert their prescription into a slot where it's scanned, and the pharmacist reviews it and does a consultation. The pharmacist then instructs the kiosk to fill the prescription and labels the bottle and prints instructions. All of the process takes in between ten to fifteen minutes. 

Tucson resident David Ryburn is quite familiar with refilling prescriptions, he has been working in the pharmacy industry for a year, but he says this form of virtual pharmacy is quite unique. "It's personable, as being able to speak to someone face to face," Ryburn said. He also argues the time efficiency is what makes it much more appealing. "People have questions and  time restriction is not allowing people to get the answer that they need at a good time or with ease," he said.

Keith Boesen is the director of the Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center believes the accessibility of the kiosk is what makes it so valuable. "It's going provide access to otherwise rural areas of the state that would be hard to reach," Boesen said. 

Some of the concerns from people using this virtual pharmacy is the safety aspect of it. However, local pharmacy experts say they are quite secure and are held to the same standards as any other licensed pharmacy. "The medicine inside there is kept incredible, there's no real problem with the storage of the medications in there,"  Boesen added.  The kiosk is incredibly safe with patient information as v pharmacy well , consider them in the same idea as a brick and mortar pharmacy just in a unique delivery system, he said. 

Currently, the kiosks do not hold any controlled substances, but MedAvail is working with the DEA to eventually dispense those medications safely.