Pharmacy sector shake-up is prescription for growth at cutting-edge Bristol software firm

March 3, 2023

Bristol pharmacy software pioneer Titan PMR has taken on an additional team of 12 staff to cater for a rush of independent pharmacists investing in new businesses.

Titan PMR – an innovative, cloud-based system which manages end-to-end pharmacy workflow – has become the preferred software platform for first-time buyers keen to offer new services to patients. 

The new team has been hired to support this move, taking the firm’s total workforce to more than 50 staff.

It 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.

A major national shift is underway in the sector 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.

Currently, more than 5,500 of around 14,000 registered pharmacy premises across the UK are owned by corporates and supermarkets.

In January Lloyds Pharmacy, which was bought by a private equity firm last year, announced plans to close all its 237 branches inside Sainsbury’s stores over the course of 2023.

Between October and January, Titan was installed in 125 new pharmacies, most of them new purchases. The figure is more than double for the same period the previous year.

Currently 4m prescriptions a month are dispensed through Titan, which accounts for 5% of the UK prescription market.

The company is now looking to double these numbers, reaching 10% market share by the end of 2023.

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 on the border of London and Kent, which was owned by Lloyds Pharmacy.

He said: “There are so many things to think about when taking over a new pharmacy.

“There are complex contractual negotiations, taking over the lease of the premises, staff contracts, fitness to practise, 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 that 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 takeover 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.”

Titan PMR CEO Tariq Muhammad is a pharmacist who previously built up his own successful chain before setting up Invatech Health, the parent company of Titan in 2014.

He said: “I predicted that 2022 would be the year of the independent. 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.”

He said the new team was 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.”

Pictured: the leadership team at Titan PMR. From left:  Jeff Shelley, Hooman Safaei,  Sajid Ramzan, Tariq Muhammad  and Wahid Muhammad

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