Co-op buys prescription start-up Dimec as part of move into health

The UK-based Co-op supermarket chain has bought start-up Dimec, aiming to improve its healthcare service offering with a new technology that helps people manage repeat prescriptions.

In a deal announced earlier this month the Co-op said its investment Co-op Ventures had bought Dimec for an undisclosed sum.

The Co-op said this is the first acquisition by Ventures, and is a “clear statement of intent” to build customer services in the health sector.

The chain went on to describe healthcare as a “natural fit” – the Co-op has previous experience there and it aligns well with other business areas in food, insurance and later life.

According to the Co-op the acquisition will help it compete within the £10.5 billion UK pharmacy market, where over 1.1 billion prescriptions are written annually in England.

Many people receive regular repeat prescriptions and the number is forecast to increase – Dimec’s technology allows patients to connect with their GP records to make ordering prescriptions easier.

Co-founders of Dimec will work with the Co-op Ventures team on the digital pharmacy.

A number of new jobs will be created in digital, operational and clinical roles, located in Manchester and the Co-op’s Lea Green distribution centre in Merseyside.

Tim Davies, Director of Co-op Ventures, said: “The acquisition of Dimec allows us to accelerate the development of our healthcare proposition, and provides the technology required to ensure customers can interact with their NHS GP more conveniently.

“The clear focus for our Ventures team is to target markets where there are unmet customer needs and where our Co-op difference adds real value using innovative digital business models. We’ll do it with a brand that we know people trust. Our healthcare offer will be designed for convenience and to meet the increasingly complex health and wellbeing needs of people as they live longer.

“The acquisition of Dimec is a core element in delivering this ambition and we’ll be providing more detail early next year in terms of our of wider customer offer.”



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