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Contractors, stop 'covering your ears' on hub-and-spoke

Pharmacists should not ignore the potential of hub-and-spoke dispensing, the managing director of wholesaler Phoenix UK has said.

Speaking at Numark’s conference in Cape Town yesterday (March 6), Steve Anderson said contractors can “stick their fingers in their ears” and say “we don’t like hub-and-spoke” – or they can see it as a way to benefit their business.

Pharmacy owners need to “collaborate” and “have more dialogue” on hub-and-spoke dispensing to meet the challenges of the future, Mr Anderson suggested.

"In Scotland, they are allowing contractors to play around with hub-and-spoke," he added.

He stressed that the current wholesale model is “unrecognisable” to previous decades and “huge volumes” of medicines are currently dispensed through hub-and-spoke models.

“Wholesale will play a different role going forward,” he told delegates. “We live in a digital age and our industry needs to keep up, as we are all measured against Amazon.”

Profitability under pressure

Mr Anderson also touched on the other challenges currently facing wholesale businesses.

“Profitability is under pressure,” he said. “[EU anti-counterfeiting legislation] will only make it worse. Some things need to change.”

He stressed that in order to achieve profitable growth, a different type of collaboration is needed across the sector.

“This is our least coherent time,” Mr Anderson added. “We need to share ideas – divided we fall.” 

Numark's managing director John D'Arcy used his presentation at the same conference to explain how hub-and-spoke could work for independents. Watch the video here.

Catch up with all of C+D's coverage from the Numark conference here

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