University Places Drug Vending Machine on Campus

instymedsPhoenix, Ariz. (CBS LAS VEGAS) – An InstyMeds vending machine has been installed on Arizona State University’s campus, allowing any student or university employee to pick up prescription drugs from the dispenser.

Any ASU student or university employee who receives a prescription from ASU health services will be able to simply walk to the school’s Health Services Building and use a voucher with identification to receive their meds, KPNX-TV reports. The prescription drug vending machine fills the service left unavailable after the school’s pharmacy closed in September.

“This is a great solution for students who want to access their medications right after their appointment,” said Christiana Moore, a health services spokeswoman.

“Serving the health-care needs of our students is still our highest priority. We believe the measures we have taken will help our students with their prescription needs,” said Allan Markus, director of ASU Health Services, in a statement at the time the school’s pharmacy closed.

Customers using the prescription drug dispenser use a voucher which is tied to a code that is transferred over a secure connection from the prescribing doctor to the machine. Students and college employees must pick up their medication within 24 hours.

School officials didn’t specify exactly what kind of drugs will be available in the machine, but said it would contain 50 medications that are most commonly prescribed to college students. Company representatives said they sell primarily urgent medications such as pain medications and antibiotics.

“You know, the things that you’d like to have right now to feel better,” said InstyMeds Vice President Bob Bang.

The Minneapolis-based InstyMeds machine manufacturer says that the dispensers decrease the likelihood of patients not picking up their medication because of an inconvenient trip to the pharmacy. Bang said the medication is secure in the 1,500-pound, “vault-like machines” that have remote alarms in response to any tampering.

Previously, the InstyMeds vending machines were only placed in emergency rooms, out-patient surgery offices and urgent-care offices, KPNX reports. ASU is the second university to get such a machine, according to company officials, with Florida State University having one as well.