HALIFAX — A Halifax-area company is rolling out five automated drug-dispensing devices across Canada this week that it says will help battle the country’s opioid crisis.
Dispension Industries Inc. says its machines, which look like an ATM and weigh 360 kilograms, can dispense drugs such as hydromorphone to people addicted to opioids by scanning their palm.
Company president Corey Yantha says the plan is to install the devices by the end of this week in Dartmouth, N.S., London, Ont., and Vancouver and Victoria, B.C.
He says the machines, called the MySafe Verified Identity Dispenser, are being leased to clients and will be located in some pharmacies and safe injection sites where they will be bolted to the floor. Dispension will provide all of the data management services.
Yantha says the rollout is an extension of a pilot project using the machines that began late last year in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside — an area that has been at the centre of the opioid crisis.
It’s estimated more than 15,000 Canadians have died of an opioid-related overdose since January 2016 — more than 5,000 of those deaths have occurred in British Columbia alone.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 24, 2020.
The Canadian Press