The invention provides a portable and positionally insensitive dispensing device and system for dispensing several types of articles, packaged on strips and loaded into separate cartridges, from a single device. Dispensing is controlled from more than one cartridge by means of special clutch mechanisms acting on a common drive shaft. The dispensing device has a control system that is capable of coordinating the dispensing operations of all the cartridge stations. A host computer system permits efficient definition of dispensing schedules and control options for each cartridge station, loads those dispensing parameters into the dispensing device control system, unloads dispensing data from the dispensing device at the end of a dispensing period, and analyzes the degree of compliance of the actual dispensing operations to the dispensing schedule.
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