Vending machines are commonly used for distributing fizzy pop or a sugary / savoury snack to perhaps curb a period of waiting, quench thirst or eat on the go. Now that self-service is so available to us, why not use vending machines to offer other products?
In the US, a bill seeking to revise the current Pharmaceutical Affairs Law to allow OTC vending machines is currently under final review by the Ministry of Government Legislation, before being submitted to the National Congress for approval.
Of course machines selling OTCs such as condoms, feminine hygiene products and tights are already a common feature in pubs, restaurants, clubs and cinemas but there are many possibilities to extend the product range beyond these common items.
The amendments are expected to be passed without difficulty and will come into effect on 1st January 2017. They will allow pharmacists to sell OTCs through vending machines located outside their premises after conducting a consultation with consumers via video call through the machine.
Jacksonville are already one step ahead as Jacksonville Memorial Hospital recently started offering prescription medicines through an “Rx-to-go” kiosk in its emergency room. At the start of this month, three Jacksonville pharmacists also launched medical vending machines of their own which provide OTC medicines and personal hygiene products.