A Japanese pharmaceutical company has started a trial sale of cold medicine, painkillers and other drugs via a vending machine it installed at JR Shinjuku Station in Tokyo, a project that would better serve commuters who suddenly come down with illness.
The vending machine by Taisho Pharmaceutical Co. at one of the busiest train stations in Japan became operable Tuesday and will be available to use until Aug. 31.
The pharmaceutical company said it will analyze the issues that come up during the trial run in the hope of installing them in the future in regions that do not have many drugstores.
The machine, which stocks around 30 different products including eye drops and digestive medicine, will be available to use between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. as to allow pharmacists at a drugstore within Shinjuku Station to assist customers.
Taisho Pharmaceutical said it will consider extending the machine's operational hours following the trial run.
Pharmacists that are stationed inside the drugstore nearby are notified through a device when a customer has selected nonprescription medicine via the vending machine.
The user is then able to acquire the item after staff approval.
Purchases are limited to prepaid transportation cards, while the machine has an integrated facial recognition system in order to prevent users from bulk buying medicine.