We are used to using vending machines for crisps, drinks and toiletries - but are we ready for them to give us our prescription drugs?
Each year, 886 million prescription drug items are dispensed in England and it is hoped this new technology can streamline the process.
There are questions though over if it is safe to break the patient-pharmacist link, if drugs stored in the machine will be safe from thieves and if people could fraudulently pick up the medicine meant for others.
Two different types of machines are being trialled with the aim of national roll-out across England.
The supermarket chain Sainsbury's is currently piloting a scheme in two of its West Sussex stores. After a year it will look at customer feedback, before deciding whether to extend to other stores. It is hoped the machines will speed up customer queuing times.
How it works
Customers will use a unique ID or fingerprint as well as a Pin when putting in their prescription and again when they come back to collect the medicine, ensuring the drugs go to the correct person. While the patient waits, the pharmacist will prepare and place the drugs into the machine for collection.
Each machine can hold up to 450 packs of medicines.
While the machines will be available only alongside the in-store pharmacy service, it is possible to conduct the whole process without face-to-face contact.
Repeat prescribing accounts for 80% of prescription items - the other items are treatments the patient has not used before and may be unfamiliar with.
Do you think it is a good idea?