HubRx acquires community pharmacy group to prove benefits of hub and spoke

The team behind HubRx, the UK’s first automated hub and spoke facility for independent pharmacies, has announced the acquisition of The Pharmacy Group.

Founded in 1984 by the Lestner family, The Pharmacy Group is a 33-strong chain of community pharmacies based in Yorkshire which employs more than 300 people.

Following its acquisition, The Pharmacy Group is now set to become the first community pharmacy in the UK to use the latest-generation prescription assembly service from HubRx.

Daniel Lee, HubRx CEO, said: “We’re delighted to announce HubRx’s partnership with The Pharmacy Group. Together we have a vision to transform community pharmacy. To create a blueprint other independent pharmacies can follow, using hub and spoke to free up capacity and enable them to expand into more profitable clinical services.

“The delay to secondary legislation to allow independent community pharmacies to access hub and spoke dispensing has been very frustrating. However, those operating as a single legal entity, such as The Pharmacy Group following its acquisition, are able to use it before the legislation is passed.

“Delivering my vision of pharmacy transformation is something I’m passionate about.  In the last six years alone around 650 pharmacies have vanished from our high streets. The industry needs to do more than simply survive on dispensing income – with our automated assembly service freeing up the capacity I strongly believe we have an opportunity to rapidly move into clinical services and prove our model.”

As part of the deal the Lestner family will retain a significant minority shareholding and Jason Lestner will join the Board and take the role of Chief Operating Officer. He adds: “This marks an exciting new chapter for The Pharmacy Group. Over the last 37 years we’ve achieved so much as a three-generation owned and operated business. I’m incredibly proud of our journey so far, but I’m also excited by what’s to come now we’re working alongside HubRx.

“Community pharmacy can’t stand still, it needs to evolve to meet the needs of patients, but to also offer those working within it the opportunity to grow professionally and feel job satisfaction. Using the HubRx assembly service will enable us to extend our clinical services significantly – watch this space.”

Daniel adds: “This wouldn’t have been possible without Sean and Jenny Riddell, Traditum PE, Santander plus all the advisors to the deal including Rebecca Wilding, Andrew Kerr, Catherine Hemsworth, Rob Cunningham from Pinsents, Chris Peace, Kieran Wilkson from Brabners, Walker Morris acting for Santander, Alaistair Scott-Somers from Progeny, Mills and Reeve for Traditum, Debra Howard and team from PWC tax, and Schofield Sweeney. Thank you.”

When the secondary legislation is passed, HubRx will be able to free up prescription dispensary time for upwards of 200 independent community pharmacies through a unique hub and spoke, full assembly model. From its state-of-the-art 40,000 sq. ft. automated facility HubRx will be capable of dispensing up to 12 million healthcare items per year.

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