Titan PMR, a pioneer of cutting pharmacy technology has set up additional new team of 12 staff to cater for a deluge of independent pharmacists investing in new businesses.
The company is utilising the opportunity that is underway as large chains look to sell off or close their community pharmacies, offering an opportunity for pharmacists looking to provide efficient dispensing and additional services.
In January this year Lloyds Pharmacy, which was bought by a private equity firm in 2022, announced plans to close all its 237 branches inside Sainsbury’s stores over the course of 2023. Currently, more than 5,500 of around 14,000 registered pharmacy premises across the UK are owned by corporates and supermarkets.
Titan PMR – an innovative, cloud-based system which manages end-to-end pharmacy workflow – has become the preferred software platform especially amongst first time buyers who are keen to offer new services to patients. The new team at the Bristol-based company, hired to support this sector, sees its total workforce growing to more than 50 staff.
From last October to January this year, Titan has been installed into 125 new pharmacies, most of which were new pharmacy purchases. The figure is more than double from the same period last year.
Currently four million prescriptions per month are dispensed through Titan which accounts for almost five per cent of the UK prescription market. The company is looking to double these numbers, reaching 10 per cent of market share, by the end of 2023.
Its new team has been set up specifically to cater for new pharmacy transfers, helping ensure new owners have a fully NHS compliant system on their first day with minimal disruption.
Among the crop of new independent pharmacy owners deploying Titan PMR’s team of experts to help with the transition is Karman Chung. He is the new owner of Lakewood Pharmacy in West Wickham, just outside London in north east Kent. The pharmacy was formerly owned by LloydsPharmacy, before being purchased by Mr Chung in February 2023.
“There are so many things to think about when taking over a new pharmacy,” he said. “There are complex contractual negotiations, taking over the lease of the premises, staff contracts, fitness to practise, GPhC change of ownership, obtaining new NHS codes and setting up new suppliers.
“As if that isn’t enough, there is choosing the right technology for the pharmacy, along with the necessary understanding of what is needed to make sure the business can be up and running from day one.
“So I was glad to be supported by a team which could help determine the right hardware, offer support with getting a new broadband and internet service, coordinate with LloydsPharmacy and the NHS to transfer patient information and nominations and, on the take over day, send a trainer to train us and get us through. I’m looking forward to growing the new business and providing much needed clinical services to our patients.”
Tariq Muhammad, CEO of Titan PMR, is a pharmacist who previously built up his own successful chain before setting up Invatech Health, the parent company of Titan in 2014.
“I predicted that 2022 would be the year of the independent,” he said. “It’s been happening, and we are keen to play our part in facilitating the transition from big corporate dominance to more dynamic, independent ownership.
“Technology in pharmacy has lagged behind other sectors but Titan has been a game-changer for the industry and with its unique features, such as artificial intelligence that helps free up pharmacists time, is setting the standard that all other systems are following.
“So our new team are ready to help with the full package of services necessary to create the community pharmacy of the future – from project management to guidance needed on connectivity and hardware.
“We know from experience that a new pharmacy acquisition can be traumatic, like buying a house, where dates often change. Our specialist team understand all the issues and can help turnaround things quickly to minimise business disruption and ensure patient care.
“We will train independent pharmacists and any staff they may have, as well as providing go-live support for the most advance PMR system on the market. We’re there to help lay the foundations of a growing network of independent pharmacies suitable for serving 21st century communities.”