Pharmacists blocking innovation to protect food bowls… Stop introducing drug vending machines

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Members of the Korean Pharmaceutical Association hold a resolution meeting to block the introduction of drug vending machines in front of the LW Convention Center in Jungnim-dong, Seoul on the 20th. /yunhap news

Pharmacists affiliated with the Korean Pharmaceutical Association held a rally (pictured) urging the government to stop discussing the introduction of drug vending machines on the 20th. In the medical industry, it is pointed out that pharmacists are blocking technological innovation and convenience of consumers with collective selfishness.

About 100 pharmacists from the Korean Pharmaceutical Association held a rally in front of the LW Convention Center in Jungnim-dong, Seoul on the same day and demanded that the Ministry of Science and ICT stop discussing the introduction of drug vending machines. They argued that “medicine vending machines violate the principle of patient-to-face counseling and threaten public health.” They argued that “instead of blindly deregulating, consider other alternatives, such as public late-night pharmacies.”

A drug vending machine, also called a ‘burn-in dispenser’, is a device that allows you to purchase over-the-counter medicines after consulting with a pharmacist non-face-to-face during late-night hours or holidays when pharmacies are not in operation. Criticism is growing in the industry that pharmacists are blocking innovation to protect their rice bowls. A pharmaceutical industry official said, “To prevent malfunctions, the drug vending machine records all medications and keeps the medicines refrigerated for 24 hours to ensure safety. will,” he said.

The Ministry of Science and ICT announced that as a result of the regulatory sandbox deliberation on the same day, the drug vending machine passed the special case for demonstration. An official from the Ministry of Science and ICT said, “We plan to conduct a pilot operation in Seoul for about three months.”

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Reporter Lee Kwang-sik bumeran@hankyung.com

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