Multi-million pound investment in new automated pharmacy facility

HubRx has revealed plans for a multi-million pound investment in an advanced automated pharmacy facility in Leeds which will be used by independent community pharmacies across the country.

HubRx a newly formed company backed by the founder of Pharmacy2U and a former CEO of EMIS Group, plans to create the UK’s first automated dispensing hub purpose built for independently owned community pharmacies.

The 40,000 sq. ft facility is set to create 100 new jobs and will be have the capacity to dispense up to one million prescriptions a month.

The investment comes as changes in legislation to the pharmacy industry go through Parliament, enabling independent pharmacies to work with HubRx on a “hub an spoke” model for automated dispensing. This will reduce the impact of repeat prescription dispensing on independent community pharmacists workload and in turn allow the pharmacists more time to extend their clinical role to patients as part of the NHS long term plan.

CEO of HubRx is Daniel Lee, a qualified pharmacist who worked in his family’s independent pharmacy prior to founding the UK’s largest NHS pharmacy, Pharmacy2U, which he left in 2019. He is joined at HubRx by chairman Sean Riddell, who is the former CEO of EMIS Group plc and led its highly successful flotation on the Alternative Investment Market.

Lee said: “For the first time ever, due to new legislation currently going through parliament, the UK’s 4,461 independents will be able to realise the time-saving benefits of automated dispensing and create a level playing field with the big multiple pharmacies already benefitting from this. We’re working closely with independent pharmacy owners to develop a unique ‘hub and spoke’ model ready for this.

“In a post-COVID world, pharmacists will expect the significant clinical and advisory role they have played during this crisis to continue – and so will their patients. Our hub will give pharmacies the option to outsource up to 70% of their dispensing workload, freeing them up to expand their clinical service role in the community. It is designed to support the transformation of independents as they adapt to the new Community Pharmacy Contractual Framework – and ensure that the patient relationship remains with the local pharmacy.”

Alongside the new facility which will be in Leeds, HubRx has also signed a commercial agreement with Clanwilliam Health who provide the UK’s only web-based Patient Medical Record (PMR) system, which is currently used by over 1800 pharmacies across the country.

Mike Hewitson, a staunch defender of independent pharmacy and a leading member of the National Pharmacy Association board for eight years has joined HubRx as a non executive director

He added: “A service like HubRx would have helped independent community pharmacy tremendously during this pandemic, and it will be badly needed long after the outbreak is over. The presence and reliability of local pharmacies has been vital for patients in these last few months. HubRx will help by filling prescriptions reliably and safely while releasing us to take on more of the clinical role we have been trained for.”

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