Celesio introducing new pharmacy concept for the European market

In context with its strategic realignment, Celesio is concentrating on the further development of its core business. In the British town of Bicester near London, the company has introduced today the corner stones of its future European Pharmacy Network (EPN).

These are firstly a new brand strategy for a standardised pan-European market representation of the Celesio pharmacies, secondly a new pharmacy concept with innovative service formats, high-quality products and the latest technology, and thirdly a concept for the cooperation with independent pharmacies. Together with the Celesio pharmacies, independent pharmacies will form a pan-European, competitive network, that will support their independence. In the year 2013 the new concept will be tested in Europe. Celesio has now opened first pilot pharmacies in the UK and Italy.

The new pharmacy concept is based on comprehensive market studies, best practices from operating own Celesio pharmacies as well as completely new developments. After the successful pilot Celesio will step by step convert its 2,200 own pharmacies in Europe to the new pharmacy concept under the brand name of “Lloyds”. Stephan Borchert, member of Celesio’s management board, states: „Under the name of ‘Lloyds’, we wish to establish in the coming years the leading European pharmacy brand. It will stand for pharmaceutical excellence in service, medical advice and product portfolio as well as for a new and positive pharmacy experience on the part of the customers. We will strengthen the pharmacy as a multi-functional pharmaceutical service and retail concept.”

Pharmacy fittings and design move information, advice and customer care into the centre. This is achieved especially by establishing a central “Health Bar” with touch screens for detailed product information, own consultancy rooms and interactive communication technology.

In a first step, the consultancy service portfolio will mainly focus on the indications “skin” and “pain”. For most pharmacy customers, these fields are the primary reasons for visiting a pharmacy. Further focus indications will be added in due course. Competent advice and comprehensive services will be offered on these indications. For this purpose, Celesio is working together with independent and renowned organisations in the health market such as the Skin Health Alliance.

The advice begins with the analysis of skin or pain, respectively. This is based on state-of-the-art technologies and methods such as digital skin scanners or interactive pain assessment. A trained medical professional can be consulted on short notice to confirm the advice provided by the pharmacist or to transfer the patient to a specialist. In close collaboration with doctors and independent experts, patients are also provided detailed information in special events on the topics “skin” or “pain”.

Moreover, the pharmacy concept includes methods on compliance management which have been proven in the Celesio pharmacies on international level and whose application is subject to the relevant national legislative framework. Thus the pharmacist supports patients with taking their medicines in the correct way and on time, preventing negative consequences to their health as well as follow-up costs that could arise from non-adherence.

In addition to these service formats for patients, the new pharmacy concept also entails solutions for efficient pharmacy management such as intelligent materials management systems. The advantage for the patient: medications that are in high demand are better available. The advantage for the pharmacist: stocks and process efforts are reduced and thus costs are lowered.

The cooperation concept as the third corner stone of the European Pharmacy Network entails that services are offered to independent partner pharmacies – either as a complete package or in individual modules. Management board member Borchert says: “The cooperation partners alone decide whether and to what extent they want to use these services. They are therefore determining the degree of cooperation. With regard to the different national legislative framework of the health systems, the pharmacy network and its modules will be tailored to national requirements.”

The planned European Pharmacy Network therefore stands for Celesio’s clear commitment to strengthening the role of pharmacies in the health system and to partnering with independent pharmacies. Borchert: “The membership secures important competitive advantages for independent, owner-managed pharmacies compared to drugstores and supermarkets in terms of services, consultancy and performance. They will gain access to innovation and at the same time to the economic advantages of a large network. This way, the network will actually serve to guarantee the independence of owner-managed pharmacies!”