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US company breaks into UK pharmacy home care market

A new organisation that offers home pharmacy services, with its roots in the US and Ireland, intends to break into the NHS market.  

Medco Health Solutions (UK) plans to provide the health service with drug dispensing services, home delivery of medicines and home nursing support for administration of oral, injectable and infused treatments across the UK.

The organisation will employ its own pharmacists, who will offer a remote service from regional pharmacies, liaising with patients’ clinicians, and its nurses will visit patients at home to deliver care and support.

The service is aimed at NHS patients with complex needs such as those discharged from hospital with cancer or others living at home with long-term chronic conditions such as cystic fibrosis, HIV or multiple sclerosis.

The organisation has been created following a partnership between Irish healthcare company United Drugs, whose services include drug distribution and home care nursing, and Medco Health Solutions Inc, which already offers home pharmacy services in the US.

Managing director of Medco Health Solutions UK David Hamilton said: “We have announced the new partnership with the intention of collaborating with the NHS. We will be in a position to treat patients by the end of the year.”
He said both companies “have been eager for some time” to deliver this kind of service to the NHS and it will be available to patients in England, Scotland and Wales.

Mr Hamilton was confident that its model of home pharmacy care will be attractive to acute trusts because it will reduce the overall cost of the patient’s NHS care by “providing support programmes which help with patient concordance and tailoring support programmes to individual patients”.

There are already around six private providers that have NHS contracts to deliver home pharmacy care to around 100,000 patients in the UK. Companies offering home care services include BUPA, Evolution Homecare (Celesio, parent company of AAH) and Central Homecare (Alliance Boots).

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal URI: 10975570

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