Hub & Spoke for Independent Pharmacies Given the Green Light

Fantastic news on the 13th May 2024 with the government responding to the consultations and committing to enact the final stages of legislation for Hub & Spoke prescription assembly.  It has been a long two-year wait since the public consultation concluded, during which much has changed in the pharmacy sector, but also where many fundamental issues still remain.

The launch of new NHS clinical services, including Pharmacy First, is an opportunity for the sector to further enhance its value to the local community and the wider NHS. The opportunity for pharmacists to build new profitable revenues and use their broader professional skills, is also certainly welcome. This is however, tempered by the cripling current funding arrangements for core dispensing, below-cost reimbursement for many common drugs, margin claw-back and medicine supply issues.

Even without these direct financial pressures, many pharmacies would be struggling to successfully transform into providers of clinical service appointments at meaningful volumes.  Capacity, in terms of pharmacist resource and headspace, is finite. Absorbing increasing dispensing volumes from closures, chasing scarce or non-existent supplies and maintaining tiny buying margins, all whilst not increasing staffing costs is, as many are finding, impossible.

Such challenges require a transformational change, not tinkering around the edges. Whilst we hope that the wrongs of the core funding model are fixed, we welcome the firm commitment to allow smaller independents the ability to choose a third-party hub & spoke provider from January 2025.

HubRx and our £10m facility with unique technology, was developed for this time. Over the last nine months, we have been busy connecting our own pharmacies to the HubRx assembly service, ironing out the creases and ramping up volumes. Using the resulting capacity for introducing and delivering increasing volumes of NHS and private services.

One interesting element of the announcement, was that a second model, hub to patient’s home, was approved. With the potential to provide small independent pharmacies with the same delivery logistics as a large DSP, they can potentially defend against competition, acquire new customers and reduce their own logistics. At HubRx we will be assessing if demand exists for this type of service so feel free to get in touch.

We will be officially launching the HubRx Assembly Service, later this year giving independent pharmacies the opportunity to sign up with us for 2025. Please do get in touch via

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