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Alitam group CEO reveals £1bn vision for 500 ‘super pharmacies’

Pharmacy group Alitam founder and CEO Feisal Nahaboo has revealed an ambitious plan to transform 500 pharmacies into state-of-the-art wellness and medical centres.

The pandemic kickstarted an “organic process” of collaboration between pharmacies and “diverse medical disciplines”, Mr Nahaboo wrote in a statement on the Alitam website yesterday (January 26).

Mr Nahaboo’s “super pharmacies” will build on this increased collaboration. His £1 billion ‘Pharmacy of the Future’ concept aims to bring together “a range of healthcare services under one roof” in 500 high street, “state-of-the-art wellness and medical centres”.

This ambitious vision would see pharmacists working alongside a wealth of healthcare professionals – such as dentists, opticians, physiologists, midwives and nurses – delivering care that will focus on “disease prevention, rather than the more costly business of treatment”, Mr Nahaboo wrote.

“We have highly skilled, under-utilised medical professionals in pharmacies, the time is now to harness them,” Mr Nahaboo told C+D today (January 27).


Pharmacy, minor eye surgery and facelifts: all under one roof


As well as being able to pick up prescriptions and over-the-counter medications, patients “will be able to pre-book minor eye surgery, facelifts, liposuction, breast enlargement and routine cosmetic dentistry”.

Expectant mothers will even be able to “give birth in-store” one day, Alitam claimed, with “expert midwives” making local pharmacies “a familiar and trusted setting in which to give birth”.

Patients will also be able to access “walk-in eye and blood pressure tests, dental check-ups and counselling” without having to book for an appointment.

These will be either NHS or private services, an Alitam spokesperson told C+D today.

“Many pharmacies already offer NHS clinical services like cervical screening [and] minor ailment care,” they said. “Alitam would push ahead at great pace with these, and also offer private services available without pre-booking at [a very] reasonable cost.”


The business plan


This approach to “one-stop-shop” healthcare will cut down waiting times for patients “by as much as 90%”, Mr Nahaboo claimed, and relieve the ever-mounting pressure on the NHS and secondary care services.

Though the Alitam group currently owns 140 pharmacies, the group is looking to buy 50-100 pharmacy stores each year for next five years to reach its goal of 500 high street premises.

As to how Alitam aims to raise £1bn to fund the project, Mr Nahaboo explained that many within his “extensive network of extremely wealthy investors” have “expressed interest”, he told C+D.

“Private funds [groups] are also in dialogue with Alitam,” he added.

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