Alphega may expand into Northern Ireland

Alphega Pharmacy is exploring the possibility of expanding its network of pharmacies into Northern Ireland.

The chain’s European network of pharmacies, launched in 2001, stretches into the UK, where it has pharmacies in England, Scotland and Wales, as well as the Czech Republic, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Turkey and Romania.

Juan Guerra, senior vice-president and managing director international wholesale at Walgreens Boots Alliance, said the introduction of Alphega in Northern Ireland was on the cards.

“It’s looking promising. There’s has to be a certain critical mass. We need to make sure we can cross the river,” he told Alphega Pharmacy’s European convention in Monaco.

Alliance Healthcare managing director Julian Mount also reinforced the view that Alphega was about to make its presence felt in Northern Ireland.

“I can’t give you a launch date but we’re in the evaluation study now,” he said.

Walgreens Boots Alliance co-chief operating officer Ornella Barra, meanwhile, told the convention that the digitalisation of community pharmacy and technological advances will not supplant pharmacists who can provide face-to-face care.

“No innovation, however powerful, will be able to replace the pharmacist,” she said.

“People seek reassurance from someone they trust, someone who is qualified and who knows their family personally, someone real, not virtual.”



Picture: Lightguard (iStock)



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