HubRx today (May 4) announced that it has signed contracts to acquire and develop a new facility to create the UK’s first centralised automated dispensing hub for independent community pharmacists.
The company said it has signed a deal with leading pharmaceutical automated technology experts Knapp to install bespoke technology which will enable hub and spoke dispensing for up to 200 independent pharmacies across the country.
The company has taken a 15-year lease on a 3,000 sqm warehouse at Logic Leeds business park in Yorkshire. With this development, nearly 90 new jobs are expected to be created.
HubRx CEO Daniel Lee hailed the move as a ‘giant step forward’ in the company’s mission of freeing up independent pharmacists’ time. The multi-million pound investment in state of the art premises and technology follows the passing of primary legislation in March that will allow independents to outsource dispensing to a contracted pharmacy service provider.
Matthias Dalkner, vice president of healthcare solutions at KNAPP, said: “We are delighted that HubRx has chosen KNAPP as a technology provider for its first distribution centre in the UK. With our experience in automation for warehouses and automated dispensing solutions like our Pack-to-Patient Line we are confident to contribute to the success of this project.”
Lee said: “We are delighted to sign a contract with Knapp. All of the technology has been tailored to our unique business proposition with the ability to scale up to multiple hubs as our customer base grows – this is just the first phase. Key elements are an efficient automated pick system and pack-to-patient labelling line. We are developing processes that will ensure the safe transfer of clinically checked prescriptions to the hub, and efficient and timely delivery back to the pharmacy.”
Lee added: “Working with HubRx, the pharmacy maintains its independence, providing patients with its core NHS prescription service and retaining the EPS patient nomination. Patient relationships, loyalty and goodwill are retained, ensuring the pharmacy has the ability to develop and offer a range of clinical products and services in the future which independents need to embrace to survive. Crucially purchasing margin benefits, based on the entire HubRx capacity, will be passed through to the pharmacy.”
The company is all set to start work immediately at the new facility in Leeds and is expected to complete within 15 months.