graphic of healthcare roles

As part of our Stronger Co-op, Stronger Communities ambition we want to launch new business ventures to reach new customers and new markets, enabling us to expand our portfolio of business and provide a Co-op way of doing things in markets where we can make a difference.

To help us do this, we’ve acquired Dimec, a healthcare technology start-up that has developed a unique digital solution that enables patients to directly order their prescriptions from their GP, allowing them to manage their prescription needs in a simple and convenient way. This will help us offer a health and wellbeing service to our members and customers. We hope to launch this in the spring of 2019.

As we develop this further, we’re also creating some new digital, operational and clinical roles. Keep an eye on for vacancies if you’re interested in working in this area.

Moving on from our past pharmacy business

Some colleagues may draw comparisons of this venture into healthcare with our old pharmacy business that we had to sell a number of years ago. However, this is totally different. For a start, we won’t have the costs that physical buildings bring. Instead we’re keeping this a digital service and focusing very much here on the repeat prescriptions market. With an ageing population and 0.9 billion repeat prescriptions dispensed to 29 million people in England each year, we can see the demand for this sort of service increasing rapidly over the coming years.

What this means for our customers

Our health and wellbeing services are going to be about convenience, ease and trust – with this technology allowing members and customers to sort out their repeat prescriptions whenever, and wherever, they like. At a time when getting to see a GP is getting increasingly difficult, we want to ease that burden for members and indeed the NHS. We have lots of exciting plans, and you’ll hear more about them as we develop over the coming months.

Keep an eye out for more, and feel free to download the Dimec app and let us know your thoughts. Please share your experiences of repeat prescriptions and any problems you’d like to see solved below.

Thank you,

Tim Davies
Director of Ventures

EDIT: If you want to know more about our ventures and what we’re aiming to achieve with them, have a look at this earlier story about what ventures is about.

Join the conversation! 14 Comments

  1. Co-op Pharmacy…….Anyone remember them. Is this a prelaunch?

    • The article specifically says they don’t want the burden of properties and so this isn’t anything like Co-op Pharmacy.

  2. NHS prescriptions wasn’t a lucrative business to be in last time I checked. What is this acquisition likely to deliver from a financial point of view?

  3. The NHS has their own Patient Access which is very good as I use it frequently I would be loathed to transfer unless there are significant benefits

  4. Great service! hope my pharmacy is on the list of LIVE sites

  5. So why would people stop using the likes of Pharmacy2u and switch to Coop/Dimec ?

    Is there going to some sort of membership discount/benefit etc. I imagine that would be quite popular.

  6. Unfortunately it says my Surgery isn’t signed up to DIMEC yet and you it’s one of the largest in the area, are there any plans to accelerate membership?
    Also, I’d like my prescription delivered to my home, are there plans to offer this service too?

    • Thanks Kevin, you are right, not all GP surgeries are connected to Dimec. We will be working hard, with NHS digital, to increase the number before we launch our Co-op product.

      Longer term plans include home delivery as well as collection.

  7. Conscious that there’s increasing competition in this market, so whilst I’m all for expanding our repertoire, what are we going to do differently in offering a service that is already being offered by those already established in this market?

    • the coop difference – simples!

      • And precisely what is the Co-op difference in this instance, I wonder? The phrase needs to be quantified.

    • JOBI1234 – Maybe there’s an opportunity to use our existing store network for members to collect. I don’t think any competitors offer collection from a Co-op.

    • Very true, it is a competitive market, but a market we feel aligns very well with the Co-op brand and values. We believe we can compete effectively – and the Dimec acquisition will form a key part of that competitive difference.
      There are other aspects of the service we are looking at as well, and as Keith A points out, there are various options that competitors would find difficult to replicate.

      • Thanks everyone for the responses
        , it’s good to know that we’re aligning this to our Co-op values and that our offering has to have a Co-op difference to make it viable.

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