Sample Medications Now Offered in Vending Machines

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MedVend — a West Bloomfield company that allows patients to access prescription drugs via secure vending machines — is now offering doctor approved sample medications in the machines. 

The so-called Automatic Medication Dispenser, which securely stores a range of prescription drugs for distribution once approved electronically by a physician, now includes samples. Once a doctor e-prescribes a sample, the medication is automatically checked against the Drug Interaction Database as well as the patient’s medical records for reference.

Through the use of its inventory management software, the dispenser can also retrieve all expired and recalled medications from its inventory, automatically notify manufacturers when samples run low, and track which samples are dispensed most frequently.

“Sample distribution without proper procedures can ultimately harm patients,” Darryl Kaplan, CEO of MedVend, said in a statement. “This is why we have added a sample distribution side to our automated medication dispenser.”

In other health-related news, five Michigan-based Medicaid plans ranked within the nation’s top 20 by the National Committee for Quality Assurance. The offerings include Priority Health (No. 5), Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (No. 10), HealthPlus of Michigan (No. 13), Midwest Health Plan (No. 14), and Upper Peninsula Health Care (No. 18).

Also, as the Oct. 1 opening for enrollment in the Health Insurance Marketplace approaches, insurers such as Health Alliance Plan are launching programs to help Michigan residents navigate the changes being made to healthcare under the Affordable Care Act. HAP’s new program, for instance, is dedicated to educating uninsured residents who may be shopping for health care for the first time.

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