Sunday 18 August 2019

Axium targets Europe with pharma software expansion

Brexit could offer Irish pharma buying group new opportunities, writes Samantha McCaughren

Pharmacy owner Laurence Gavin and John Carroll, chief commercial officer of Navi Group, at the opening of CarePlus Pharmacy's 60th outlet, in Dublin's Cabinteely. Photo: Philip Leonard
Pharmacy owner Laurence Gavin and John Carroll, chief commercial officer of Navi Group, at the opening of CarePlus Pharmacy's 60th outlet, in Dublin's Cabinteely. Photo: Philip Leonard

The Navi Group - the Irish-owned firm behind Axium and the CarePlus Pharmacy franchise - is in advanced negotiations with a number of European buying groups with a view to rolling out its software internationally.

Axium is the largest independent buying group in the Irish pharmacy sector and currently provides 450 member pharmacists in the country with around 3,500 product lines.

Please log in or register with Independent.ie for free access to this article.

Log In

Chief commercial officer of Navi Group John Carroll said the Axium buying platform has allowed for considerable success negotiating with suppliers on behalf of independent pharmacists, and believes its purchasing platform is well- positioned for expansion outside Ireland.

"We aim to launch Axium into the European market and replicate the success achieved in Ireland abroad. Our plans are already in progress and we're hoping to announce more details on this expansion in Q1 2020, once contracts have been signed," he said. "The challenges posed by Brexit could result in an opportunity for our software, which has been proven to work well in a competitive marketplace like Ireland."

In December 2016, Axium signed a five-year distribution agreement with Uniphar, giving the latter sole distribution rights on stock to Axium pharmacies. The group anticipates that its purchases at trade value through Uniphar will be "conservatively" in the region of €150m for 2019.

On Friday, Uniphar raised €150m in its initial public offering on the Dublin and London stock exchanges. The company floated at a price of €1.15 on the Euronext Growth Index in Dublin and London's Aim market.

"We have an excellent relationship - they're an extremely capable and flexible organisation and we're working closely with the Uniphar team on a daily basis to grow and develop our links," said Carroll.

The Navi Group has also seen a significant expansion of its CarePlus Pharmacy franchise, which now has 60 stores. It previously announced plans to more than double the size of the network over the next three years.

"We feel hitting a target of 150 stores is quite achievable," said Carroll. "It is also vital that we support our existing network too, so we hope to have many exciting announcements in the areas of patient services and wellness offerings in the coming months."

Sunday Indo Business

Also in Business