We looked at our system and said, ‘Why are we filling prescriptions the way we did in 1995?’Rina Shah, a group vice president overseeing pharmacy strategy at Walgreens. The nations second-largest pharmacy has started using robotic fulfillment centers to fill certain prescriptions. The new system cuts pharmacists workload by about 25%.
Why It Matters: The pandemic caused an increased workload for pharmacists (testing, vaccinations, labor shortages, etc.). In response, Walgreens has adopted automated centers with robots to fill select prescriptions in order to provide pharmacists more time with customers. While other pharmacies and hospitals use similar technology, Walgreens is the first to provide in-depth information regarding the process.
Context: One large automated center near Dallas can fill 35,000 prescriptions per day and serves about 500 stores in Texas, Louisiana, and Arkansas. Eight automated centers are currently servicing nearly 2,000 stores with plans to significantly expand in the next three years.
Walgreens Turns to Prescription-Filling Robots to Free Up Pharmacists (Wall Street Journal)
by Jenna Lee,