A pilot drug store in Shandong has officially opened. This pharmacy is similar to a supermarket, but it is manned by a robotic pharmacist “Little Joe”. The level of the robotic pharmacist is equivalent to a pharmacist with 10 years of experience. He can diagnose the patient through consultation and give advice on medication. The pharmacy’s smart device will make recommendations based on the drug, and the patient can directly buy drugs by mobile payment. The robotic pharmacists is expected to play a role in lowering pharmacy costs and improving pharmacy service professionalism. A pharmacy’s average net profit is only 5% to 7%, of which the manpower cost is the highest, twice the rent. According to relevant statistics, there are 480,000 pharmacies throughout the country, and half of them are unable to provide professional pharmacists services because they do not have enough talent pools to provide accurate advice for patients. The drugs provided by the pharmacist robot are non-prescription medicines. For prescription medicines, according to relevant regulations, hospital doctors will be required to confirm the sale.

China Bio news release, March 26, 2018