Co-op acquires HealthTech prescription app Dimec

Written by Hannah McGrath

The Co-op is entering the online pharmacy market with the purchase of HealthTech startup Dimec.

Dimec, which facilitates the ordering of repeat prescriptions by linking up patients with GP surgeries and pharmacies via an app, has been acquired for an undisclosed sum in the first takeover by Co-op’s Ventures division.

The HealthTech start up, founded by pharmacists Chris Turner and Andrew Bailey in 2013, also syncs medical records and prescription information to ensure that patients are taking their medicines properly.

It sends alerts directly to GP surgeries and a network of 12,000 UK pharmacies when a patient is running low on medicines. The app-based platform is supported by the NHS.

The Co-op is hoping the purchase will help it to grow into a digital competitor within the £10.5billion pharmacy market, which is seeing a boom in repeat prescriptions thanks to an ageing population.

The digital pharmacy arm is part of a new Co-op offering in addition to the mutual’s large network of physical stores and services including groceries, funerals, insurance, legal and an online electrical store.

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 deal will create a number of digital, operational and clinical roles based in Manchester and Merseyside and will see co-founder Turner and Bailey,move into the Co-op Ventures team.

Separately, the Co-op group has announced a £500m jump in half year sales to £4.99 billion on the back of strong sales from its food business and the acquisition of groceries wholesaler Nisa.