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AmerisourceBergen Launches New AutoMed Efficiency Pharmacy H750 System; New Pharmacy Automation System Features Smart Tray With RFID Technology

12/08/03

VALLEY FORGE, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 8, 2003--AmerisourceBergen Corporation (NYSE:ABC) today launched the AutoMed Efficiency Pharmacy H750, the first radio frequency identification (RFID) enabled hospital pharmacy automation and barcoding system for all types of orders and dosage forms. Like the Company's other hospital pharmacy automation solutions, the AutoMed H750 is modular and scalable, allowing each hospital to adapt the system to its space and capital needs. Displayed for the first time at this week's American Society of Health Systems Pharmacists Mid-Year Meeting in New Orleans, the AutoMed H750 features Smart Tray(TM), which uses RFID technology to deliver greater efficiency and accuracy. Introduced by the Company's AutoMed pharmacy automation division, the new system automates fulfillment of pharmacy orders across all dosage forms and for all hospital distribution systems, including cart-fill, cabinet replenishment, nurse servers, first doses and stat orders.

"Even with the new RFID feature, the AutoMed H750 is the most modular, most compact, and least expensive centralized pharmacy automation system available," said Duane Chudy, president of AutoMed. "For under $650,000 and less than 450 square feet, the H750 provides automated unit dose dispensing of oral solids, injectable, and unit-of-use items with automated storage and retrieval of IVs and bulk storage items."

The system's new RFID based Smart Tray identifies and tracks every order by patient or by cabinet. For example, at the start of the cart-fill process, each Smart Tray is automatically programmed to represent a unique patient. As the tray moves through the dispensing process, each workstation reads the tray identifier and automatically brings up that specific patient's profile of medications to be dispensed. This automatic patient identification saves technician time and reduces chances of dispensing errors.

More Compact and Less Expensive Than Current Central Pharmacy Robotic Systems

The H750 uses a fraction of the pharmacy space than current central pharmacy robotic systems by, 1) storing oral solids in bulk and packaging on demand, 2) eliminating the need for special packaging rooms with sound protection, 3) using space efficient storage and retrieval automation and 4) using flexible and ergonomic shelving system. Converting oral solid purchases from unit dose to bulk also saves customers 4 cent to 6 cents across all oral solid doses, compared to a 7-cent to 12-cent packaging up-charge common to current robotic systems.

"The AutoMed H750 also slashes restocking time by as much as 50 percent," said Chudy, "cuts the space required for storage by up to 75 percent, and reduces diversion and shrinkage through better inventory control and tracking." The H750 also produces nursing friendly packaging that is easy to open, with USP class B packages and 12-month, beyond-use product dating.

The modular AutoMed H750 uses multiple components to create an integrated system. The units include:

  • FastPak(TM) 330 or 520 automated oral solid packaging system


  • FastFind(TM) Injectable and FastFind Unit-of-Use dispensers


  • FastFind Universal storage and retrieval carousel


  • Barcodes on unit of use and injectable items for 1 to 5 cents per dose


  • Efficiency WorkPath System for comprehensive dispensing workflow management


  • Smart Trays featuring RFID technology


  • Modular FastFind StockFlow(R) shelving

Through its AutoMed division AmerisourceBergen is the leading innovator of comprehensive pharmacy efficiency solutions. AutoMed combines the world's most advanced prescription fulfillment technology, workflow software, pharmacy design expertise, and ergonomic storage and shelving systems, into customized pharmacy efficiency solutions that enable customers to better manage costs, staffing and accuracy. With the broadest offering in the pharmacy automation industry, AutoMed systems deliver unparalleled scalability and affordability. In addition, AutoMed is the only company that serves all pharmacies (regardless of size or market), all dosage forms and all prescription volumes, from 50 to more than 50,000 prescriptions per day. More than 1,000,000 prescriptions are filled by AutoMed Efficiency Pharmacies(TM) daily. For more information about AmerisourceBergen's automation capabilities, contact AutoMed at 888.537.3102 or visit www.automed.com.

About AmerisourceBergen

AmerisourceBergen (NYSE:ABC) is the largest pharmaceutical services company in the United States dedicated solely to the pharmaceutical supply chain. It is the leading distributor of pharmaceutical products and services to the hospital systems/acute care market, physician's offices, alternate care and mail order facilities, independent community pharmacies, and regional chain pharmacies. The Company is also a leader in the long term care pharmacy and workers' compensation fulfillment marketplaces. With more than $40 billion in annualized operating revenue, AmerisourceBergen is headquartered in Valley Forge, PA, and employs more than 13,000 people. AmerisourceBergen is ranked #24 on the Fortune 500 list and was ranked #6 in the 2003 Business Week 50, a list of the 50 best performing companies in the S & P 500. For more information, go to www.amerisourcebergen.com.

StockFlow is a registered trademark of Sintek International AB. Used with permission.

Forward-Looking Statements

This news release may contain certain "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. These statements are based on management's current expectations and are subject to uncertainty and changes in circumstances. Actual results may vary materially from the expectations contained in the forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements may include statements addressing future financial and operating results of AmerisourceBergen and the benefits and other aspects of the 2001 merger between AmeriSource Health Corporation and Bergen Brunswig Corporation.

The following factors, among others, could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in any forward-looking statements: competitive pressures; the loss of one or more key customer relationships; customer insolvencies; changes in customer mix; changes in pharmaceutical manufacturers' pricing and distribution policies; regulatory changes; changes in U.S. government policies; failure to integrate the businesses of AmeriSource and Bergen Brunswig successfully; failure to obtain and retain expected synergies from the merger of AmeriSource and Bergen Brunswig; and other economic, business, competitive, regulatory and/or operational factors affecting the business of AmerisourceBergen generally.

More detailed information about these factors is set forth in AmerisourceBergen's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K for fiscal 2002.

AmerisourceBergen is under no obligation to (and expressly disclaims any such obligation to) update or alter any forward looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

CONTACT: AmerisourceBergen, Valley Forge
Barbara Brungess, 610-727-7199
bbrungess@amerisourcebergen.com

SOURCE: AmerisourceBergen

Corporate Overview

AmerisourceBergen is one of the largest global pharmaceutical sourcing and distribution services companies, helping both healthcare providers and pharmaceutical and biotech manufacturers improve patient access to products and enhance patient care. With services ranging from drug distribution and niche premium logistics to reimbursement and pharmaceutical consulting services, AmerisourceBergen delivers innovative programs and solutions across the pharmaceutical supply channel..

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