The world of pharmacy services has evolved significantly over the last few decades

Advances in technology are the driving force behind this rapid rate of evolution. Pharmacists and patients are both significantly impacted by the multitude of changes technology has brought to pharmacies.

Advances in pharmacy automation technology and the continued shift to a mail-order culture have increased the need for central fill pharmacy services.

What is a central fill pharmacy?

A central fill pharmacy is a pharmacy designed with the sole purpose of filling prescriptions. There is no storefront or customer interaction at a central fill pharmacy. Retail pharmacies, long-term care facilities, hospitals, and correctional facilities can send patient prescription information to the central fill pharmacy for prescription filling, and focus on other elements of care. Central fill uses pharmacy automation equipment and software to quickly and accurately count, fill, and dispense medications for all their clients.

What are the goals of a central fill pharmacy?


The main goal of a central fill pharmacy is the same as a retail or institutional pharmacy – to accurately fill prescriptions for patients. Accuracy is the primary goal because it is an essential part of ensuring the safety of patients who ultimately get the prescriptions. The difference is that Central Fill Pharmacies fill a high volume of prescriptions every day. That’s why they use pharmacy automation equipment and software that can increase speed and accuracy throughout the process of counting, filling, and dispensing medications.


Increased efficiency is another important goal of central fill. A central fill pharmacy uses time and resources as efficiently as possible. Pharmacy automation equipment and software can save time by automating time-consuming tasks that are traditionally done by hand. Dispensing pills, checking packages, and separating prescriptions by patient are all tasks that can be automated. Automating these and other tasks makes it possible for the pharmacist and pharmacy techs to deliver a high volume of prescriptions every day.

Adding a central fill service to a traditional pharmacy setup can improve efficiency when it comes to allocating resources. Central fill services can significantly increase the production capacity of a pharmacy and make it possible to scale without needing to hire additional staff. Space can also become an issue as you start serving more patients. Moving some of your operations to a central fill allows you to grow without needing to move locations, expand your current space, or attempt to fit additional equipment inside your already full pharmacy.

How central fill helps you grow your pharmacy

Central fill automation systems can help you grow your pharmacy in a number of ways. For example, you can serve more clients without needing to physically expand your space. If you want to grow your pharmacy by taking on a new institutional client – such as a long-term care facility – using a central fill model will allow you to scale quickly and efficiently. In a traditional pharmacy design, adding a large client requires hiring additional staff and potentially expanding the physical space to accommodate the larger staff and workload. Central fill pharmacies can take on this additional workload by leveraging pharmacy automation equipment and software. Automation allows you to add new clients to the workload, and continue delivering exceptional service.

Central fill can also help you grow your pharmacy by making it easier for you to serve clients. If you have a retail location, for example, using central fill for the bulk of the prescriptions can free up some of your time. You can spend the additional time working directly with the patients who come to your pharmacy. Pharmacists do much more than count pills and fill prescriptions. In a retail pharmacy, the pharmacist is also tasked with helping patients understand their prescriptions, answering questions, addressing concerns, and giving vaccinations. All of these tasks are important elements of working in a retail pharmacy, but it is difficult to fill every prescription and have time to work one on one with the people who come to your pharmacy. Central fill alleviates some of the demand on the pharmacist and creates more time to spend on other aspects of the job. Developing a reputation as a pharmacy that provides individualized service to clients can help your pharmacy attract new customers.

Solutions from Noritsu Pharmacy Automation

An effective central fill solution must include the right type of equipment and software. The software solutions for a central fill pharmacy can make all the difference when it comes to increasing efficiency and keeping costs down. Noritsu offers advanced software solutions that power reliable and accurate equipment. Fill prescriptions quickly and accurately with the Xana 2040. This central fill solution can dispense and verify prescriptions for over 40 multi-dose patients each hour. When you consider how long it would take to fill and verify that number of prescriptions by hand, it becomes clear that automation software is essential if you want to grow and scale your pharmacy.

Noritsu offers a number of automation solutions that are designed to help pharmacists reduce labor costs, improve productivity and workflow, increase profits, and provide quality patient care. The software behind the automated strip pouch packaging unit and medication detection machine provides solutions for effortlessly expanding your central fill pharmacy.

These central fill solutions can help you grow your pharmacy quickly and allow you to continue meeting the needs of your patients. The automation that is used in a central fill pharmacy allows for more accurate dispensing of medications along with an increase in speed. Because of this, the evolution of central fill pharmacy is beneficial for both the pharmacist and the patient.

Adding a central fill service to a traditional pharmacy setup can feel like a big step. The reality is that the transition can be an easy one when you choose the right type of pharmacy automation equipment and software. Noritsu will help you find the right solutions that make sense for your pharmacy and your bottom line.

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