There are 10 canisters per row, and each canister has a multi-colored light that indicates when it needs to be re-filled. Each canister is customized and calibrated for a specific oral medication. Canisters are designed specifically for each pill, and come in two heights. There are also specially designed canisters for UV-sensitive medications.
Information for each medication is stored on a radio frequency identification tag on the underside of the canister. Based on the patient order and software, the pills are released down a dispensing tube and into the bin on the carousel. The dispensing tube has a curved path to slow down the pill as it travels to avoid damage.
|Unsupported, high-speed, small-bend radii: The requirements placed on energy chains used in the Rowa system are also very high.|
Igus products are also used in the dispensing tubes. The drylin W guides are made of hard-anodized aluminum, and have extra height and width to absorb greater tilting forces and ensure stable guidance of the downpipe.
The system produces sealed, labeled pouches containing pills for specific patient orders. They spool out of the machine and can be bundled in strips for delivery and contain single or multiple pills. The information on the pouches can be configured according to the needs of the pharmacy.
Helping control costs
Pharmacies, hospitals and other agencies that distribute medication are under increasing pressure to improve efficiency and contain costs, while also disseminating drugs accurately and reliably.
That objective is even more important as the use of prescription drugs increases. Nearly 49% of the U.S. population uses prescription drugs in a 30-day period, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Prescription drug expenditures soared to $360.2 billion in 2018.
The Rowa Dose system helps reduce costs, providing a high-speed, multi-dose pouch packaging solution that features superior capacity, throughput and a minimal error rate for producing high-volume oral solid medications.
“Rowa [has demonstrated that] very fast handling and time savings can be accomplished with the right technology,’’ Niermann said.
Image of Rowa Dose system at top of page courtesy Becton Dickinson Rowa GmbH. All other images courtesy igus GmbH.
The author of this article, Matt Mowry, is drylin Product Manager for igus North America.