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Pharmacy inspections

Inspection reports and learning from inspections

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Using pharmacy vending machines to support access to medicine

Pharmacy type


Pharmacy context


Relevant standards

  • 4.1 - The pharmacy services provided are accessible to patients and the public

Why this is notable practice

The pharmacy is using innovative technology to support the safe and efficient collection of assembled medicines.

How the pharmacy did this

The pharmacy was encouraging as many people as possible to collect their dispensed medicines through the pharmacy's two vending machines, located outside the pharmacy. The machines acted as 24-hour collection points to people. The pharmacy sent people a text message when their medicine was ready for collection and this included a secure code to enter into the relevant machine. The pharmacy reported a rise in the number of people using this collection option. The option had been used by people of all ages and positive feedback about the ease-of-use of the machines had been posted to the pharmacy’s social media page.

A pharmacist risk assessed the suitability of medicine being put into the machine. The machines were commonly used for collection of repeat prescribed medicines. The pharmacist contacted people by telephone if any additional counselling or information needed to be provided prior to collection.

The machines were thoroughly cleaned each day and at regular points throughout the day by team members. And notices displayed close to the machines advised people to wash their hands after using the machines and to dispose of gloves safely.

What difference this made to patients

People can collect their medicines 24-hours a day at a time convenient to them. This option is convenient to people and it limits the number of people requiring physical access to the pharmacy premises.

Highlighted standards

We have identified the standards most likely and least likely to be met in inspections, and highlighted examples of notable practice for each of these standards; to help everyone learn from others and to support continuous improvement:

  1. 1.1 Risk management
  2. 1.2 Reviewing and monitoring the safety of services
  3. 4.2 Safe and effective service delivery
  4. 4.3 Sourcing and safe, secure management of medicines and devices
  5. 2.2 Staff skills and qualifications