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Alitam unveils second ‘transformational’ merger in a week

The community pharmacy chain Alitam has reached a “transformational” merger agreement with clinical skills training provider MHRx, it has announced.

Under the deal, the chain’s pharmacists will be trained to make formal diagnoses, formulate differential diagnosis plans, and perform full clinical examinations “quickly and safely”, Alitam announced on Friday (August 19).

MHRx will also act as “a career development platform for the whole pharmacy team”, it added.

Read more: ‘Super pharmacy’ group snaps up PharmaDoctor in ‘seven-figure’ deal

It is hoped this will “reduce the substantial burden” on other NHS services and help reduce waiting times for urgent and routine hospital treatments.

It comes less than a week after Alitam – which has over 100 branches across the UK and Ireland – revealed that it had agreed terms to merge with clinical service provider PharmaDoctor in an unspecified “seven-figure” deal.


“Opportunity” to rely less on NHS income


Alitam founder and CEO Feisal Nahaboo said: “I have a job on my hands to fundamentally help pharmacists see their future business in a very different way.”

Pharmacists now have “a real opportunity” to “rely less on NHS” income, he stressed. Instead, they should “focus on improving the nation’s health through examination and diagnosis services”, he recommended.

Acquiring MHRx “was my initial target”, he said. “With this merger now in place, Alitam will be providing pharmacists with all the medical specialists and training required.”

Read more: ‘Super pharmacy’ CEO sets out plans for pharmacogenomics service

Alitam’s acquisition strategy is “ambitious”, with plans for 10% organic growth over the next five years, he added.

However, while he claimed that Alitam “has the backing of thousands of pharmacies”, he also acknowledged that “it will take some time to put infrastructure and personnel in place to best deliver medical services”.

But, he added, “the support teams from MHRx and Pharmadoctor makes this roll out that much easier”.


“A formidable array of talent”


Following the recent merger deals, MHRx founder and CEO Mohammed Harb and Pharmadoctor CEO Graham Thoms will both be appointed as directors of Alitam, Mr Nahaboo confirmed.

It comes after Alitam has made a number of high profile appointments in recent months, with former Avicenna group executive director, Bharti Patel, taking the role of group executive director in March and Boots UK’s former head of pharmacy, Jamal Butt, who joined Alitam in July.

“Following a year of continual engagement and negotiations, I’m delighted to announce this line-up, which constitutes a formidable array of talent”, Mr Nahaboo said.

Read more: 'Super pharmacy' CEO: Sector is 'screaming for private investment'

In January, Mr Nahaboo unveiled an ambitious plan to create a chain of “super pharmacies” focusing on disease prevention and clinical services.

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” across the UK and Ireland.


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