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Ticker Update



Alcura achieves data security certification

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has accredited Alcura with its prestigious data security standard  


Alcura, our patient care business, has worked tirelessly over the last few years to ensure patient data is protected and that all its systems and processes are secure and stable.


The hard work has paid off as the business has been awarded with a data security accreditation, known as the ISO27001, from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) – an independent, non-governmental organisation for international standards in areas such as quality, health and safety, IT security, energy, and environmental management.


It’s not easy to achieve but it’s an important one for hospital trusts and manufacturer partners as it demonstrates that data security is taken seriously by the business. And this will strengthen Alcura’s position when submitting tenders. It’s also the team’s third ISO accreditation as they already have the Quality Management (ISO9001) and Environmental Management (ISO14001) certifications.


Commenting on the team’s latest achievement Simon Jones, Head of Homecare and Secondary Care, says: “We work very closely with the NHS and a number of hospital trusts, and support over 34,000 homecarepatients. We have a special responsibility to look after our patients and we take protecting their data seriously. I’m very proud of the team for attaining this endorsement as it’s one of the hardest to achieve.” 


Alcura’s work on data protection was also acknowledged in 2019 as they won an internal WBA award for a data privacy project with Boots, which enabled HIV patients to collect their medication anonymously.


Walgreens Boots Alliance and McKesson Complete the Formation of German Wholesale Joint Venture

Joint venture demonstrates innovative strength of two companies with impressive and trusted healthcare heritage in the German wholesale market


Deerfield, Ill. and Irving, Texas, Nov. 2, 2020

Walgreens Boots Alliance (Nasdaq: WBA) and McKesson Corporation (NYSE: MCK) today announced the completion of their previously announced agreement to create a joint venture combining their respective pharmaceutical wholesale businesses in Germany, Alliance Healthcare Deutschland (AHD) and GEHE Pharma Handel (GEHE). WBA holds a 70 percent controlling equity interest in the joint venture and McKesson holds the remaining 30 percent interest.


“At Walgreens Boots Alliance, we all look forward to working together with McKesson Corporation on this joint venture,” said Ornella Barra, co-chief operating officer, Walgreens Boots Alliance. “It is a very exciting step for our Pharmaceutical Wholesale Division and a unique chance for us to further develop innovative services to manufacturers and pharmacists in Germany.”


“The completion of this strategic partnership with Walgreens Boots Alliance enables us to strengthen and secure the future of pharmaceutical distribution in the German market,” said Kevin Kettler, chairman of the management board and president McKesson International. “Together, we look forward to delivering a successful model of operations to benefit the German healthcare ecosystem of patients, pharmacies and manufacturers.”


With future challenges in the healthcare sector, the new company is committed to strengthening the pharmacist's position as a healthcare professional, creating innovative added value services and significantly enhancing digitalisation and operational excellence.


Alliance Healthcare to Reduce Single-Use Plastic by 60% in Three Years

Alliance Healthcare in the UK has announced its promise to reduce single-use secondary plastic within the business by 60% within three years, as part of its “Getting drastic with plastic” campaign. The plastics saving initiatives have been live within the business since 2019 and even the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have not stopped progress.


Alliance Healthcare UK recently started to roll out new reusable tote bins to replace plastic bags and cardboard packaging to its Health and Beauty customers, as part of the initial initiatives to reduce plastic. Julian Mount, Managing Director said: “We recognise that as an industry leader we must pioneer the way in reducing our impact on the environment. Our three year plan will entail an ambitious 35% reduction of single-use plastic secondary packaging by September 2021.”


The work being carried out across the entire workforce includes: removal of invoice bags, switching to paper bubble wrap and investment in reusable totes.


Jon Cornforth, Environment, Health and Safety Manager says: “Every year, over 2 million units of single-use plastic bags and cardboard boxes will be removed from our operations, considerably lessening Alliance Healthcare’s carbon footprint.”


To date, Alliance Healthcare UK has already saved over 39 tonnes and by the close of fiscal-year 2021 will have saved 131 tonnes. The aim is to have reduced the overall use of single-use secondary plastic by an impressive 60% by September 2022.


Alliance Healthcare UK team members will mark the launch of the “Getting drastic with plastic” campaign with installations at each of its 14 Service Centre sites across the UK, where colleagues can learn about the promise and get involved with the local initiatives whilst also considering their own day to day behaviours that may impact the environment and making a commitment to the planet. The installation will be produced from completely plant-based materials to go along with the ecological theme of the action.




Alphega Pharmacy Launch Patient App with Healthera


Alphega Pharmacy has launched a new app, developed in conjunction with Healthera for its network of over 1,000 pharmacy members. The patient-facing app, which is available to download to any mobile device, is designed with the patient in mind, as more and more people turn to digital solutions to fulfil their prescriptions and other healthcare service requirements.


The Alphega Pharmacy app uses the UK’s market leading technology platform for patients and pharmacies. The app offers a seamless digital patient experience, enabling Alphega Pharmacy members to compete with the ever growing list of competitors who offer a digital service for prescription ordering.


The impact of COVID-19 has changed shopper habits with more and more people now using digital channels to shop online or engage with their healthcare services. Shoppers have made on average 51% fewer trips to the high street post-lockdown than they made in the weeks pre-lockdown*. All four big online pharmacy chains (Boots, Well, Echo, Pharmacy2U), have seen significant increases in electronic prescription service (EPS) items claimed in the period of March to May 2020**.


The app provides the Alphega Pharmacy member with a turn-key solution to support them in the ever changing landscape of independent pharmacy and the members also receive preferred rates because they are part of the Alphega Pharmacy network.


The key features of the app include:
  • Repeat Prescription Ordering – immediate access to over 8,000 GP surgeries (IM1 integration, NHS Email and Fax) for patient initiated ordering.
  • NHS Email ordering - available for patients in Wales or Scotland, or without an NHS Linkage Key.
  • Pharmacy chat – speak directly with customers through your online portal built into the app.
  • Service booking – patients are able to view the NHS and Private Services offered by the pharmacy and book appointments.
  • Broadcasting – send notifications / messages to all customers who use the app.

Other features include: online payments, ‘Carer’ mode allowing family members to manage medicines for their relatives, prescription tracking, real time patient messaging and co-branding opportunities to help re-inforce loyalty.


Raj Nutan, Head of Alphega Pharmacy UK said: “This is a great opportunity for our members to offer a first class digital experience to their patients.


The app provides a leading digital customer service offering to really drive retention, cultivate loyalty and grow additional revenue. Healthera are market leaders in this field and were an obvious choice for us to work with in developing the Alphega Pharmacy App. We are very excited to see how the app can really support our members and their patients.”


Quintus Liu, Chairman and CEO of Healthera said: “We are very happy to be working with Alphega Pharmacy as partners on this project. It’s great to see that Alphega Pharmacy realise the huge benefits of offering the patient app to their members, therefore driving the digital agenda in the field of independent pharmacy. As a business we have seen how the app can not only help support pharmacies drive revenue through dispensing volume growth, but also significant time savings in pharmacy of an average of around 105.5 hours per year via Rx orders going through the app rather than on the phone, emails or tokens***”


To find out more about the patient app, or about how Alphega Pharmacy can help Independent Pharmacy businesses call: 0203 044 8969 or email: 


Alliance Healthcare Marks National Customer Service Week

Alliance Healthcare marks National Customer Service Week with a new membership at the Institute of Customer Service as it commenced a week-long internal engagement event for its 5,500 colleagues.

Commencing on Monday 05 October and through the week, Alliance Healthcare has held a number of internal educational activities in parallel to the daily themes set out by the National Institute of Customer Service, to raise awareness of customer service and the vital role it plays in successful business practice and the growth of the UK economy. Daily themes this year include: customer insight, capability and skills, recognition, leadership, and trust, ethics and sustainability.

Through the week, the Customer Service Team enjoyed a series of games and prizes, both at the National Call Centre in South Normanton, and across its virtual office. The UK‟s leading pharmaceutical wholesaler kicked off its week-long event with a video broadcast from Julian Mount, Managing Director, Alliance Healthcare, who said: “Customer service is so important to everything we are doing at Alliance Healthcare, as demonstrated by our devoted customer service through the Covid-19 pandemic. We stood shoulder to shoulder with community pharmacy and my team remained available on the phones, email and through our customer Portal (myahportal) and its online ChatBot; whenever required we were there to support the NHS and our customers during these difficult times, and demonstrated the best in class customer service when it mattered.”

In recognition of the value of customer service, Alliance Healthcare is now a member of the Institute of Customer Service - an organisation that exists to improve business performance by improving the customer experience. Vicki Martin, Head of Customer Service, Alliance Healthcare said: “We are so proud of our membership that our Customer Service Advisors now have new e-signatures with the institute's logo, highlighting its strapline: „Service with Respect.‟ This is yet another great step in our continued commitment to develop our customer service and support community pharmacy.”

As part of its daily communications, colleagues enjoyed a series of “catch up with a colleague over a cuppa” features, learning about the different roles and personnel from across the Customer Service team. In recognition of Thursday‟s theme – leadership, the Customer Service Management Teams took part in a “back to the floor”, completing tasks that would normally be carried out by their colleagues. On Friday 09 October, John Pignone, Sales Director gave his personal thanks and appreciation to the team for all its support to community pharmacy and the NHS.


Fikret Ozer, Head of Supply Chain, Astellas

“As our sole agency partner, AHDL play an important role in delivering the most fundamental corporate objective of Astellas, which is ensuring the safe and continuous supply of our life-saving medicines to the UK patients. The CS organisation is at the forefront of delivering this objective as they are the interface between our customers and us. The ongoing support and collaboration between AHDL CS teams and Astellas leads to not only a much more efficient and accurate delivery of the services provided, but also a much more customer-centric approach in capturing and handling the requirements of our customers. This produces better, quicker and more efficient outcomes for those collective customers and ultimately serves the needs of the patients."


Colin Frost, Head of UK Trade, Pfizer

“One of the fundamental factors, which has contributed to both the longevity and success of DTP, is the close working relationship between the Pfizer Customer Contact Centre and the Alliance Healthcare Customer Service team. The role of the teams are clearly defined, integrated and highly collaborative, which exemplifies the Pfizer – Alliance partnership and ensures an exemplary customer service to our shared healthcare customers and patients.”


Alliance Healthcare and Alphega Pharmacy Announce Winner of the BPSA Business and Enterprise Competition

Alliance Healthcare and Alphega Pharmacy are proud to congratulate this year's winner, Maddyson Chan, a fourth year student currently studying Pharmacy at Cardiff University. She successfully pitched her idea to launch a new private service that community pharmacy could implement to create a new revenue stream.


The BPSA (British Pharmaceutical Students' Association) is an organisation who work to enhance the experience of its members by inspiring them to invest in their development, seize opportunities and become advocates for the profession. This competition is one example of that. It allows students to be innovative and explore the business aspect of pharmacy, whilst building confidence and winning prizes. The BPSA teams up with sponsors, such as Alliance Healthcare and Alphega Pharmacy, to deliver such fantastic opportunities.


The final was held virtually on Tuesday 22nd September, 2020, with four students competing via Zoom, due to current Covid-19 restrictions and saw the culmination of three rounds of presentations over the past 11 months from over 50 students.


Despite the lack of face-to-face contact, the four finalists performed incredibly well and a great rapport was built with the judging panel. The panel consisted of Mike Smith, Non-executive advisor Alliance Healthcare, Sue Dobson, Alphega Pharmacy Business Mentor, and Vinay Patel, Alphega Pharmacy Services and Contract Manager. The event was coordinated by Bella Shah, a fourth year Pharmacy student at Cardiff University and a member of the BPSA Executive Team, and Lorna Kimberley, Senior MarComms Manager at Alliance Healthcare.


Mike Smith, Non-executive advisor Alliance Healthcare UK, says: "As usual the presentations were of the highest quality. They all demonstrated a "thinking out of the box" approach and applied digital technology. The future of our profession is safe in the hands of these very motivated young students."


Maddyson Chan, winner of this year's event, comments: "I am so grateful for the opportunity to take part in the competition. Hearing feedback from peers who had previously competed inspired me to give it a go, and I would encourage everyone else to try it too!"


Alliance Healthcare has supported the BPSA for over ten years, and senior members from the BPSA committee visited the Alliance Healthcare Support Office in Chessington in January. They spent time with Julian Mount, Managing Director, and his team, including Neil Scobie, Head of Member Offer and Engagement Alphega Pharmacy. The students also enjoyed a tour of the local Alliance Healthcare Chessington Service Centre.


Alliance Healthcare will continue sponsoring, and working in partnership with the BPSA during 2021 and look forward to seeing the positive difference our young pharmacists make in this challenging world.



Standing shoulder to shoulder

Julian Mount, Managing Director, Alliance Healthcare has been speaking with Pharmacy Business magazine and its editor Priyankur Mandav, about the remarkable way Alliance Healthcare has supported community pharmacy during Covid-19 and operates as the backbone of the NHS.


In an exclusive interview with Pharmacy Business magazine, a UK leading pharmacy publication with a print circulation of 10,300, Julian reflects on the remarkable way community pharmacy teams have responded to the Covid-19 pandemic:


 "Together with community pharmacy, we are the backbone of the NHS and Alliance Healthcare UK supplies one in every three medicines taken in the UK. 


 "We knew we had to do everything possible to ensure medicine supply for UK patients; we certainly embraced the challenge and supported the incredible efforts of community pharmacy, the frontline heroes of the coronavirus pandemic.


 "We decided not to furlough our field-based teams to allow us to maintain essential contact with community pharmacy and continue our support. I feel the Covid-19 pandemic has strengthened our already robust relationship and together we have stood shoulder to shoulder with community pharmacy throughout the pandemic, when other healthcare professions closed their doors."


Read the guest column here.


Alliance Healthcare ‘Returns’ to become Mandatory on the Portal

Alliance Healthcare continues to help our customers self-serve by driving forward adoption of our digital processes via the myahportal (Alliance Healthcare Portal)  and phasing out the paper return notes process entirely.  From Monday 14 September customers should only be processing returns claims through ‘Returns' via the myahportal.


The portal provides customers with a simplified approach to access multiple Alliance Healthcare systems and order products online, including surgical orders from NWOS and other functionalities.   


As part of our digital evolution of using ‘Returns' online, customers will see the following benefits:


- Saves time – automatically completes sections of the returns note for you e.g. name and address details, along with product searches

- Visibility of returns claims online – for ease of reference

- Efficient process - No need to call Customer Service, authorisation to return specialist handling products* can be completed on line. (*a few exceptions apply)

- One claim for all - no need to separate out product types when submitting claims

- Guidance on specific product returns  -  clearly explains what to do if you have faulty items, quality issues and recalls

- Removes confusion – clear information on our terms & conditions for returning products

- Access from anywhere – you just need to be online

Over 13,000 customers have now registered with myahportal. Marta from Ashtons Hospital Pharmacy, Brighton said: "It is very easy to fill all the necessary fields and the reference return number given at the end keeps my files in order. I am very pleased that Alliance Healthcare keeps trying to improve their ways of working and that they are listening to their Customer's feedback."


The portal is accessible at and customers can self-register in just a few minutes.


To support customers during the registration and in using the portal, a ChatBot system has been enabled that offers instant question and answer support for the user. Online support is also available via email at:, and a helpline on 0330 100 0448 - option 8, for any technical support and assistance.


The old paper ‘Returns' system will close from 13 September.


Julian Mount, Managing Director takes part in Covid-19 roundtable discussion with Pharmacy Business

Julian Mount, Managing Director at Alliance Healthcare in the UK, Sutton contractor Reena Barai, and chief executive of PCT Healthcare Peter Cattee took in the second Pharmacy Business virtual roundtable.


The coronavirus pandemic will lead community pharmacy into becoming the healthcare hub of the future, a leading pharmaceutical professional has said.


Managing Director of Alliance Healthcare UK Julian Mount believes in a post-Covid world more remote interactions from doctors and hospitals will be the order of the day, making community pharmacy the first in line for face-to-face healthcare advice.


Julian Mount shares his view on the challenges community pharmacy has faced during the Covid-19 pandemic


"If there is a positive experience with Covid-19, it's the positivity there is now around having that healthcare hub within the community," he said at Pharmacy Business' second virtual roundtable entitled ‘Reimagining community pharmacy in a post-Covid world'.


The roundtable delved into the future of pharmacy from the perspectives of a pharmacy wholesaler, an independent contractor and an owner of a chain of community pharmacies. It explored how a hugely positive public perception, renewed national recognition and changed attitude from the powers that be could reinvigorate community pharmacy as well as how the sector needed to adapt in the rapidly changing world of technology.


The three-member panel, which also included chief executive of PCT Healthcare Peter Cattee and Sutton contractor Reena Barai, felt that community pharmacy should build on the positivity it now has but the onus of continuing that momentum would be on the national pharmacy bodies.




Alliance Healthcare Reduces its Use of Single-Use Plastic Bags and Cardboard Boxes

Alliance Healthcare has started to roll out new reusable tote bins to replace plastic bags and cardboard packaging to its Health and Beauty customers.


Every year, over 2 million units of single-use plastic bags and cardboard boxes will be removed from its operations, considerably lessening Alliance Healthcare's carbon footprint.


The new reusable tote bins will be available in two sizes to consolidate customer orders and reduce the number of packages in circulation, minimising product damage and supporting Alliance Healthcare's commitment to reduce its impact on the environment.


Jon Cornforth, Environment, Health and Safety Manager, says: "Reducing plastic waste has globally become an important issue over the last couple of years and we have a responsibility to reduce our impact on the environment. By replacing plastic bags and cardboard packaging with our reusable totes we can reduce waste and move away from our reliance on plastic in our operations."


The totes are white with black lids and feature the Alliance Healthcare branding as well as a new Health and Beauty icon.