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Automation Helps Oregon Pharmacies Serve Customers Better; Technology Increases Prescription Accuracy and Reduces Waiting Times

11/04/04

VALLEY FORGE, Pa., Nov. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- New technologies that automate the prescription fulfillment process are delivering significant benefits to the customers of one Salem-area and two Portland-area pharmacies.

With automated equipment now processing prescriptions that pharmacists previously had to count by hand, the changes for these pharmacies have been dramatic. Safety and accuracy have been greatly enhanced by a system that checks and double-checks prescriptions before they are dispensed. Prescription wait times have also been dramatically reduced and pharmacists and their staff have more time to focus on patients.

The automation technologies they are using were developed by AutoMed, a unit of AmerisourceBergen, one of the largest pharmaceutical services companies in the United States.

"Automation allows me to spend more time counseling patients and less time licking and sticking, counting and pouring," said Mike Douglas, owner of Mike's Medical Pharmacy in Newberg, about the traditional methods of filling and labeling prescriptions. "This way I am available and can really talk to a patient. It's harder to do this when you're busy counting. The AutoMed system has helped create a much better environment for the patient-pharmacist relationship, which is what it's really all about for me."

The two other Oregon pharmacies that have installed this new technology are: McCann's Pharmacy in Tigard and Stayton Pharmacy in Stayton. All three pharmacies belong to the Good Neighbor Pharmacy(R) network of independently owned and operated community pharmacies.

Along with the shift to automation technology, Mike's Medical Pharmacy has made an even bigger transition - moving to a larger store after 35 years in one location. As a result, Douglas and his staff now have both more time and more space to serve customers. The store's grand opening took place today (November 4th).

Owner Jamie Netland of Stayton Pharmacy has a similar story. Netland also moved to a new location recently and installed automation technology as part of the relocation. After the move, his prescription business increased dramatically. It would have been "very difficult" to meet the challenges without automation, he said.

"But the main reason we installed the technology was to improve accuracy and cut down on human error," Netland said. "It also helps with workflow, enabling us to be much more efficient and spend more time with the customer." Because the system is so much faster than the manual method of dispensing prescriptions, he adds, his staff feels less pressure and it has "without a doubt" reduced waiting time for prescriptions.

Matt McCann of McCann's Pharmacy agrees.

"It has definitely increased the speed and accuracy of filling my customers' prescriptions and my pharmacists absolutely love it," said McCann. "When you know you can rely on a system that's been checked and double- checked, it's one less pressure. And because we have more time, we are able to provide better care for our customers."

About AmerisourceBergen

AmerisourceBergen(R) (NYSE: ABC) is one of the largest pharmaceutical services companies in the United States. Servicing both pharmaceutical manufacturers and healthcare providers in the pharmaceutical supply channel, the Company provides drug distribution and related services designed to reduce costs and improve patient outcomes. Through AutoMed, a wholly owned subsidiary, AmerisourceBergen is the leading innovator of comprehensive pharmacy efficiency solutions. AutoMed combines the world's most advanced prescription fulfillment technology, workflow software, and pharmacy design expertise into customized pharmacy efficiency solutions that enable customers to better manage costs, staffing and accuracy. Good Neighbor Pharmacy(R), an AmerisourceBergen program, is a network of more than 1,800 independently owned and operated community pharmacies. With more than $47 billion in annualized operating revenue, AmerisourceBergen is headquartered in Valley Forge, PA, and employs more than 14,000 people. AmerisourceBergen is ranked #22 on the Fortune 500 list. For more information, go to http://www.amerisourcebergen.com or http://www.automed.com.

SOURCE  AmerisourceBergen
    -0-                             11/04/2004
    /CONTACT:  Barbara Brungess, AmerisourceBergen, +1-610-727-7199,
bbrungess@amerisourcebergen.com, or Iris Raylesberg, Kapnek Communications,
+1-215-830-9890, iris@kapnek.com, for AmerisourceBergen/
    /Web site:  http://www.automed.com
                http://www.amerisourcebergen.com /
    (ABC)

CO:  AmerisourceBergen; AutoMed; Mike's Medical Pharmacy; McCann's Pharmacy;
     Stayton Pharmacy
ST:  Pennsylvania, Oregon
IN:  MTC HEA CPR
SU:  PDT

FB 
-- PHTH002 --
3000 11/04/2004 14:00 EST http://www.prnewswire.com

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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