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Yakugaku Zasshi. 2014;134(7):823-8. Epub 2014 Apr 25.

[A study of the pharmacist work changes associated with dispensing unit-of-use packaging in community pharmacies].

[Article in Japanese]

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  • 1Faculty of Pharmaceutical Science, Meijo University.


This study aimed to determine how much time can be saved with the use of unit-of-use packaging for prescription drugs as compared with bulk packaging in community pharmacies as well as to determine the number of errors. In a simulation, mock prescriptions were dispensed either in unit-of-use packages or by transferring medication from a bulk container, and a time study was conducted to measure the time spent on dispensing and prescription auditing by pharmacists. Pharmacists' and patients' degree of satisfaction was also surveyed. The time saved with unit-of-use packaging was 66.25 s per prescription. The sole dispensing error that was found in the study occurred with bulk dispensing. Among both pharmacists and patients, many were of the opinion that dispensing with unit-of-use packaging was preferable to bulk dispensing. Unit-of-use packaging shortens the time that pharmacists spend on dispensing activities and increases the efficiency of their work. Unit-of-use packaging is also thought to reduce the number of counting errors.

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