Introducing Returned Injection Sorting Dispenser Unit Option for Ampoule Dispenser System to Enhance Secure Dosing and Efficient Drug Distribution Management in Hospitals

November 1, 2019
PHC Corporation

TOKYO, November 1, 2019 - PHC Corporation (headquarters: Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan, hereafter PHC) announces the launch of a sorting dispenser unit for returned injection medication ampoules to enhance its current ampoule dispenser system (*1) targeted for the Japanese market. This product is intended to reduce risks of drug mix-ups and enhance efficient management of drug distribution in hospitals.

Injections used in hospitals require many changes due to the hospitalized patients’ acute conditions, causing the reported rate of injections returning from hospital wards to hospital pharmacies to rise to about 30% (*2). The required re-sorting of returned injections is manually conducted by pharmacists and increases workloads and often leads to drug mix-ups in terms of drug classification sorting errors.

The current ampoule dispenser system equipment sorts injections automatically for each patient based on prescriptions. It provides secure dosing for patients by dispensing correct injections via bar code verification of drug labels. Our new sorting dispenser unit for returned injections, a dedicated option for the ampoule dispenser system, is able to automatically differentiate returned injections from hospital wards to hospital pharmacies and re-sort them accurately using proprietary high-precision image processing technology. The unit will automatically check usage expiration information on drug labels from the printed contents, remove expired drugs and sort, as well as prioritize drugs close to expiry dates from the sorted returned drugs through linkage with the ampoule dispenser system. This helps reduce pharmaceutical product wastage and promote more efficient management and operation of pharmaceutical product stocks.

Ampoule dispenser system (sorting dispenser unit of returned injections outlined in red)
Ampoule dispenser system (sorting dispenser unit of returned injections outlined in red)
Assembling injections workflow
Assembling injections workflow

PHC is a healthcare company offering value-added products and services in the business areas of diagnostics including diabetes, life sciences, and healthcare IT. This new product will expand the product lineup of our Life Sciences business.

Our Life Science business now branded “PHCbi” following the company name change in April 2018 has led the automation of pharmaceutical services in Japan and overseas since our launch of the industry’s first automatic tablet counting and packaging system in 1973. The ampoule dispensing system making extensive use of our accumulated factory automation technology helps improve the efficiency of assembling injection work for pharmacists due to its high quality and accuracy.

Nobuaki Nakamura, director of PHC Biomedical Division said, “The rise in the number of prescriptions as our society ages not only adds to the prescription workload for pharmacists but also incurs more risks of drug mix-ups and complicating distribution management for pharmaceutical products in hospitals. I expect that our new sorting dispenser unit of returned injections developed as an option for our existing ampoule dispenser system will reduce the risks of mix-ups by reducing human error and promoting the more efficient distribution management of pharmaceutical products in hospitals, contributing to safer healthcare.”

The first unit of this new product has been installed at Pharmacy Department of Yamaguchi University Hospital and started its operation. This product will also be showcased at the exhibition of the 29th Annual Meeting of the Japanese Society of Pharmaceutical Health Care and Sciences to be held from November 2 to 4 at Fukuoka Convention Center (1st Floor, Booth S-02).

(*1) For more information (Japanese site only available):
(*2) Our estimation by our users’ survey

About Biomedical Division of PHC Corporation

Established in 1969, PHC Corporation is a subsidiary of PHC Holdings Corporation in Japan that develops, manufactures, sells, and services medical equipment and solutions across the diabetes management, diagnostics, life sciences, and healthcare service businesses. Committed to its corporate mission, “We contribute to the health of society through our diligent efforts to create healthcare solutions that have a positive impact and improve the lives of people,” the company offers value-added products and services to customers in over 125 countries. The Biomedical Division makes efforts to support scientists and researchers through its Life Sciences products and services including CO2 incubators and ultra-low temperature freezers in over 110 countries.

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Corporate Communications Group
PHC Holdings Corporation