COVID Impact Analysis on Automated Dispensing Machines Market
Technological advancements in artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and robotics have led to a drastic increase in the use of automated dispensing machines in the healthcare industry to improve patient safety, optimize workflow, and reduce healthcare costs. Since December 2019, an outbreak of a new human coronavirus has spread in many countries and caused thousands of cases and deaths.
The overall effect of the pandemic is impacting the production process of several industries including the Life Science Industry, and many more. Trade barriers are further restraining the demand-supply outlook. As the government of different regions has already announced the total lockdown and temporary shutdown of industries, the overall production process is adversely affected; thus, hinder the overall automated dispensing machines market globally.
Community pharmacies in outbreak-affected and unaffected areas are often the first point of contact with the health system for those with health-related concerns or simply in need of information and reliable advice. In countries such as France and Portugal, pharmacists have been authorized to repeat dispensing of prescribed medicines for patients with long-term conditions, to reduce the need for medical appointments and release resources. The American Pharmacists’ Association has also urged health insurers and pharmacy benefit managers to immediately remove/waive any administrative barriers.
In the US, as states brace themselves for a rising number of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) cases, few pharmacy boards have relaxed regulations to ease burdens on pharmacy practitioners. Different states have declared a state of emergency permitting state boards of pharmacy to waive multiple administrative and licensure requirements. Moreover, it has published additional guidance for pharmacies in their respective states. This guidance addresses certain prescribing requirements for telemedicine, permit renewal, vaccination, remote supervision and processing, compounding, staffing ratios, and emergency refills. The Texas State Board of Pharmacy allowed in-person consultations requirements by authorizing telephonic patient contact instead. Texas is piloting a program for automated machines to allow for remote automated dispensing of medication. However, many states are not permitting such remote dispensing programs. For instance, despite the ongoing pandemic, New York recently issued an advisory notice warning pharmacy that, automated dispensing machines continue to be a violation of New York law.