Imperial acquires Pharmed as it continues to build independent healthcare supply chain business

Logistics and supply chain group Imperial Logistics has acquired a major stake in pharmaceutical wholesaler Pharmed Pharmaceutical.

Issued by: Imperial Logistics
[Johannesburg, 5 November 2014]

Pharmed is a 29-year-old business which specialises in the wholesale supply and distribution of healthcare-related products ? including ethical, generic, patent and homeopathic medicines; surgical, dental and veterinary products; and medical equipment.
This acquisition is in line with Imperial's strategy to integrate pharmaceutical wholesaling and distribution into its service offering, comments Imperial Health Sciences managing director, Dr Iain Barton. "Our aim is to build a strong, focused, integrated and independent healthcare supply chain company that will not only enable Imperial to pursue opportunities that have developed in this rapidly changing market, but will also yield benefits for hospitals, pharmacies, doctors and patients."

Outlining these benefits, Barton explains the entrance of large retail chains into pharmacy and pharmaceutical wholesaling has placed independent pharmacies in a position where their traditional wholesalers have now effectively become the competition. "Imperial's strategy of integrating distribution and wholesaling services independent of alignment with any retailer or manufacturer means that independent pharmacies, hospitals and dispensing doctors will have the advantage of a strong, independent wholesale service encompassing a full basket of products, with no ties to any particular brand owners or retail chains, and with complete transparency."

Further downstream, Imperial's model will benefit patients by ensuring they have access to a full, independent product line up.

Independent pharmacies are still where the bulk of prescriptions are processed, Barton notes, and says it is through independent pharmacies that improved access to medication is being extended to the emerging middle classes of South Africa.

Pharmed has warehouse facilities in both Durban and Johannesburg and services more than 5 000 active accounts from the two operations. The company will be integrated into Imperial's Health Sciences division.

Commenting on the benefits that this integration will offer Pharmed and its customers, the company's managing director, Yusuf Vahed, says becoming part of Imperial will enable Pharmed to boost its reach, capacity and resources. "We also expect to be able to broaden our product offerings as well as offer more competitive pricing, to the advantage of our clients."

Pharmed's responsive delivery service has always been key to its success, he adds, but the company aims to further enhance this service by leveraging its access ? via Imperial ? to new facilities in new areas. "The next phase of Pharmed's growth is to reach areas of the country not previously serviced," he stresses.

This transaction complements Imperials' prior acquisition of Eco Health, the leading pharmaceutical distributor in Nigeria and Fine Pharmaceuticals, a Botswana-based pharmaceutical wholesaler – as well as the recent acquisition of Dutch pharmaceutical and medical supplies wholesaler, Imres.