Digitization: New Initiative Launched to Strengthen On-Site Pharmacies

Five strong partners, one goal


Five renowned companies are founding the “PRO AvO” (PRO on-site pharmacy) initiative to strengthen owner-operated pharmacies and to harmonize pharmacists’ digital applications. One thing unites the participants in the new initiative: they are combining strengths and resources serving local pharmacies. This has laid the cornerstone for many innovative companies to collaborate to develop a new solution and implement it together with other partners.

Developing the necessary expertise and size together
The current supporters are BD Rowa Germany GmbH, GEHE Pharma Handel GmbH, NOVENTI Health SE, Sanacorp eG, and Wort & Bild Verlagsgruppe. The goal of the initiative is to create a concept in close cooperation with other participants, associations, and pharmacists that gives pharmacists the opportunity to have a mutual standard whether it is as a marketplace, platform, or only as a special application. The most promising way to do this appears to be to bundle the resources that are necessary to create the concept. “There are so many that have shown interest in this sort of a campaign that we just had to start. The decisive factor is that by themselves no one on the market can establish something that is really a sustainable benefit to pharmacists, end-users, and patients,” says Dr. Hermann Sommer, CEO of NOVENTI Health SE.

Quality and security for pharmacies geared towards clients
The new initiative is in the conceptual phase. “In the current situation, it is first and foremost about quality and security for pharmacies and a clear focus on customer needs,” emphasizes Andreas Arntzen, CEO of Wort & Bild Verlagsgruppe. Customers are requesting a digital answer where they can find all relevant information about medicinal products and pharmacies. It is also crucial that this sort of initiative be open to everyone.

For many stakeholders, the understanding has grown in recent weeks and months that only a mutual solution that is open to everyone and geared toward the interests of customers and pharmacists has the opportunity to sustainably strengthen local pharmacies, which makes a unique opportunity for on-site pharmacies.

Information about the five partners (in alphabetical order):

Rowa® Technologies by Becton Dickinson (BD) is automating warehouses and medication distribution of pharmacies and other healthcare institutions. With more than 8000 systems worldwide, the Rowa brand stands for quality and dependability that is, “made in Germany.” BD is a global technology company that is promoting preventive healthcare by improving research, diagnostics, and care. BD employees over 65,000 employees in 50 countries. Rowa Technologies is managed from Kelberg (Eifel), Germany with approximately 750 employees.

GEHE Pharma Handel GmbH is a pharmaceutical wholesale company and is a subsidiary of McKesson Europe. From 18 places of business, GEHE supplies pharmacies with medical products every day throughout Germany and contributes to secure pharmaceutical supply in Germany. Based in Stuttgart, Germany, GEHE is a pharmaceutical distributor that assists its customers with services in pharmacy management and marketing via the pharmacy cooperation called “live healthy” that is the leading pharmacy cooperation in Germany with 2,100 members and more than 60 industry partners.

As a holding company, NOVENTI combines many separate individual companies that have one thing in common: they all operate in the healthcare market with the core target groups of pharmacies, other service providers, care services, and physicians. In addition to financing security, NOVENTI offers its network platform, which promotes important cross-company transfer of expertise. At the same time, the individual companies operate separately. Group sales are currently at about 156 million euros. Over 1,900 employees contribute to the success of the entire NOVENTI Group. This also includes being repeatedly given the award of being a great place to work.

Sanacorp and its corporations achieved annual sales in their operational business of 4.5 billion euros in 2017 and are one of the largest pharmacy-specific pharmaceutical wholesale companies in Germany. With around 3,000 employees at 17 places of business, this pharmacy company ensures that around 7,500 pharmacies throughout Germany are securely and dependably supplied with medicinal and healthcare products around the clock. On top of this, the “mea® - my pharmacy” pharmacy cooperation offers attractive marketing campaigns to its members. Sanacorp eG Pharmazeutische Grosshandlung and all members of the pharmacy cooperative are at the head of the group company. The company emphatically advocates for strengthening owner-operated individual pharmacies in Germany.

Wort & Bild Verlag is the leading provider of popular healthcare media in Germany. Its print titles reach 22 million readers, and its online platforms receive over 18 million visits per month. Direct user value for the health of readers and expert pharmacy advice are always the focus. Wort & Bild Verlag publishes the following magazines: Apotheken Umschau [Pharmacy Review] (9,185,378 copies sold monthly according to IVW III/2018), Baby und Familie [Baby and Family] (666,642 copies sold monthly), Diabetes Ratgeber [Diabetes Guide] (1,171,058 copies sold monthly), Senioren Ratgeber [Guide for the Elderly] (1,702,317 copies sold monthly), Ärztlicher Ratgeber [Medical Guide] (published three times per year with 250,540 copies distributed annually) medizini [medicini – a medical magazine for children] (1,389,192 copies sold monthly), and HausArzt PatientenMagazin [Family Doctor Patient Magazine] (published four times per year with 388,550 copies sold annually).