Lahey Clinic tests sample control system

February 1, 2000

Pharmaceutical Representative

Drugsampling.com, a computer controlled system that monitors the distribution of drug samples, is being tested in Boston's Lahey Clinic.

Drugsampling.com, a computer controlled system that monitors the distribution of drug samples, is being tested in Boston's Lahey Clinic.

"Insufficient control [of drug samples] can endanger patients and staff and clearly violates accreditation standards and regulatory statutes," said Ernie Anderson, director of pharmacy at Lahey Clinic. "It also contributes to higher drug costs and makes it difficult for pharmaceutical companies to obtain credible sampling data."

The Drugsampling.com system, which was developed by the Lahey Clinic with the help of ADDS Inc., North Billerica, MA, includes computer-controlled dispensing cabinets that hold a wide range of samples. The cabinets can only be opened by authorized medical staff who are identified through fingerprint-recognition technology.

Once opened, the cabinet contains a touch screen computer that enables physicians to input their name, patient name and drug to be sampled. The system then prints out educational material and labels for the patient in accordance with all Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations standards while documenting transactions completely.

Currently, Lahey Clinic has the new systems working with 12 clinics and plans to add 12 more before expanding to 44 regional clinics. PR

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