Walgreens to use robots for prescription fulfillment amid staff shortages

Walgreens Boots Alliance plans to use automation to combat its ongoing nationwide staff shortage, The Wall Street Journal reported Oct. 2.

Walgreens will set up a network of centralized, automated drug-filling centers with robotic arms that can sort and bottle multicolored pills. Automation will cut pharmacist workloads by 25 percent and save the company more than $1 billion a year, Walgreens told the WSJ.  

Certain prescriptions such as inhalers and controlled substances will still be filled by pharmacists in stores.

The new drug-filling centers will allow pharmacists more time for providing medical services like vaccinations, patient outreach and prescribing some medications —  the last of which proves to be a growing revenue stream for drugstores.

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