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HubRx acquires 34-strong pharmacy chain in Yorkshire


HubRx acquires 34-strong pharmacy chain in Yorkshire

The company behind the UK’s first automated hub-and-spoke dispensing facility for independent pharmacies has acquired a 34-strong chain of community pharmacies in Yorkshire.

HubRx said its takeover of The Pharmacy Group for an undisclosed sum will see the chain’s pharmacies become the first ones to use the 40,000 sq. ft. automated facility in Leeds.

HubRx CEO Daniel Lee (pictured), who set up distance dispenser Pharmacy2U in the 1990s, said the acquisition of The Pharmacy Group will help “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 government is still considering proposals to change legislation to allow all community pharmacies to benefit from hub-and-spoke, including allowing it between pharmacies of different legal entities.

Lee insisted the government’s delay in changing legislation “has been very frustrating” but suggested hub-and-spoke could now be used by The Pharmacy Group before legislation is passed because it was now a single legal entity with HubRx.

“Delivering our 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,” Lee said.

“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 acquisition, The Pharmacy Group’s owners the Lestner family will retain a minority shareholding and Jason Lestner will join the board and become chief operating officer. The Group employs over 300 people.

Insisting the takeover marked “an exciting new chapter for The Pharmacy Group,” Lestner said: “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.” 

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