A new facility aimed at giving independent pharmacies access to hub and spoke technology is expected to commence operations in early 2022, Pharmacy Network News has learned.
HubRx founder Daniel Lee, who set up the controversial distance dispenser Pharmacy2U in the nineties, is part of the executive team behind the new £8m dispensing facility, which will be based in Yorkshire. He told PNN that planning and development is currently underway ahead of the hub and spoke legislation changes expected to come into force in 2021.
“We are currently appointing a logistics contractor and expect the facility to be live Q1 2022,” he said.
When asked about the fee model, Mr Lee said HubRx would use a “transparent cost plus model, with a flat service fee… [we] will be recharging the actual cost price of the medicines and the service fee which we are currently developing”.
It was put to Mr Lee that the NPA had carried out research last year that concluded there was little evidence of benefit from hub and spoke models used around the world.
He replied that his team was “creating a new hub and spoke model specifically for independent pharmacies” and that the technology had “improved significantly” over the last few years.
“We are confident from previous experience of increased safety and efficiency."
“[Contractor and former NPA board member] Mike Hewitson who led the task group looking into Hub and Spoke has joined as a non-executive director and we are working to support a new industry standard which will fully address some of the previous concerns.”
When asked whether he had encountered any wariness from the independent pharmacy sector given his background with Pharmacy2U, Mr Lee replied: “Independent pharmacy… is part of my heritage having worked in my family’s independent pharmacy business before founding Pharmacy2U… it’s really important for the industry to have a strong and thriving independent sector.”
He added: “We know that at the end of this contract period pharmacy will be paid less for dispensing so pharmacies need to be more efficient and create capacity for new services.
“The new CPCF provides for the use of new technology and I would ask independents to at least engage in the art of the possible, because if they remain focused on dispensing and purchase profits at the expense of NHS and private clinical services, they risk being destroyed by market forces.”