On 30 August, Steve Anderson, PHOENIX UK Group Managing Director, officially opened one of the UK’s largest automated pharmacies.
The facility in Runcorn has been operating since June 2019 and provides Rowlands Pharmacy with a “hub and spoke” solution for assembling repeat prescriptions.
Using industry-leading technology, the site currently assembles around 270,000 repeat prescriptions a month. By the end of the year it will assemble 16 million prescriptions annually for all Rowlands branches in England, Scotland and Wales.
At the launch Steve Anderson said, “At every level, the medicines supply chain relies on automation and IT solutions to ensure patients get the medicines they need when they need them at the lowest cost to the NHS.
By centralising repeat prescription assembly we free up time for branch colleagues to provide support, advice and healthcare services which patients want and need and which the national health services in England, Scotland and Wales are increasingly looking to community pharmacy to provide.
Centralised automated dispensing is vastly more efficient than branch-level assembly, however, the technology requires significant investment well beyond the means of many independent pharmacists and you need to process a large volume of prescriptions before you get pay back on that investment: volume which an individual independent pharmacy or small groups are unlikely to generate. Therefore, we are looking at how we can offer this service to Numark members who want to reduce their prescription assembly costs in order to invest in the provision of new patient services.
I welcome the recent announcement from the Government that they will change the law in order to allow us to do so.
Implementing our central dispensing solution in such a short period of time is a fantastic achievement and I thank all colleagues from across the business who have worked so hard to deliver this initiative successfully”.