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MACH4 receives German Global Health Award for SA pharmacy access initiative

MACH4 receives German Global Health Award for SA pharmacy access initiative

Omnicell, Inc. has announced that its robotic dispensing solutions company, MACH4 Automatisierungstechnik GmbH, has been recognised by the German Healthcare Partnership, the Federation of German Industries and the Biotechnology Industry Organization of Germany for its efforts in innovation to provide better access to pharmacy services in South Africa. The Federal Minister of Economics and Energy, Brigitte Zypries, presented the company with the German Global Health award at the Allianz Forum, Pariser Platz in Berlin, on May 17.

MACH4 Automatisierungstechnik GmbH was recognised for its Pharmacy of the Future project. Pharmacy of the Future places robotic dispensing systems, with patient dispensing units (PDUs), in shopping centres to improve access to medicines in South Africa. The programme was developed in partnership with Right to Care, Right ePharmacy, the Department of Health South Africa, The Deutsche Gesellschaft für International Zusammenarbeit GmbH and USAID.

Goals of the project include easier accessibility and decreased waiting times in outpatient pharmacies for patients with stable but chronic conditions. Patients without access to these systems have to travel to clinics and hospitals every month to refill their prescriptions, even if they are stable and do not require medical consultation. Waiting times for these patients can average four to five hours.

The collaboration seeks to provide better access and adherence to medications for the estimated 7.5 million South Africans infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The partnership began as a pilot project that will be handed to the national health system to ensure sustainability and structural adaptability going forward.

“We’re honoured to be recognised with the German Global Health award,” said Dirk Beils, Senior Director, Engineering at MACH4 Automatisierungstechnik GmbH. “Just as we’re inspired by the care providers deliver in the acute setting, we’re also committed to creating a better life for those who are actively advocating for their own health. We hope the implementation of these PDUs will forge a pathway toward a healthier population that will continue to serve the country of South Africa for years to come.”