KLS Netherlands has been marketing its Medicomat for a few years now. In terms of the way it operates, the Medicomat is not so very different to an ATM. It’s a wall dispenser system for medicines.
In 2008, to shorten waiting times in chemist’s, KLS Netherlands started to develop a wall-based system for dispensing medication – the KLS Medicomat. In the Medicomat, boxes can be stored containing medication that has been prepared in advance according to the prescription. Particularly in the case of chronic illness, recipes are often identical for long periods. The time when new medication is needed is therefore predictable and the information needs are smaller. When it is time for new medication, the chemist’s can ask the doctor for a repeat prescription, prepare it, and place it in the KLS Medicomat ready for the customer. When the prescription has been placed in the KLS Medicomat, the chemist’s sends the customer a code by text message. Using this code, the customer can pick up the medicines at any convenient time.
By further automating the dispensing of medication, the chemist’s can provide its customers with more service. Customers who have no need of extra information do not have to wait in a queue but can simply pick up their medicines from the Medicomat outside. Moreover, customers are no longer restricted to opening hours because the Medicomat is open 24/7. A positive additional effect can be that the staff at the chemist’s can plan their work better and provide more service for people who do need information.
Following a steady increase in the number of KLS Medicomats in the Netherlands, the automats are also starting to grow in popularity outside the Netherlands. The challenge here is that the business case differs from country to country. The most interesting market at the moment for KLS Netherlands is Kuwait. KLS Netherlands is selling its entire portfolio here, including the KLS Medicomat, in co-operation with a local party. However, here the machine will not only be used to shorten queues at the chemist’s but also seems to be a great way of preventing the theft of medicines. In Kuwait, the chemist’s is usually found in a hospital, so the first KLS Medicomat was also recently installed in a hospital. The hospital patients can get their medication from the machine 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. And because the KLS Medicomat can be fully locked, far fewer medicines ‘disappear’.