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PHR Group merges with OCP, a subsidiary of McKesson Europe

OCP, a subsidiary of McKesson Europe, a European distributor of healthcare products and a pharmaceutical retailer, has acquired the PHR group, a major player in pharmacist groups in France.

Press release (PDF 229 KB)

At a time when all the players in the pharmaceutical chain are facing economic challenges in the evolution of their businesses, OCP wishes to enhance the partnership that has existed with the PHR Group for over 25 years by leveraging our shared expertise to support French pharmacists to deliver better care and value to patients. As for the PHR Group, this represents a step towards ensuring the sustainability of the services it has been developing for 27 years in the interest of pharmacists who are members of the group or affiliated to the Ma Pharmacie Référence brand.

In a rapidly changing market, this merger represents an opportunity to promote the pharmacist as an independent health professional.

"This acquisition is part of the continuity of a long-standing cooperation with the PHR Group, to the benefit of all members. We have decided to strengthen the investment capacities of this group, alongside Pharmactiv and Réseau Santé, to accelerate innovation and approve the offer made to members and affiliates. I am convinced that with our logistics know-how, our capacity for innovation, and our international openness, we will be better able to anticipate market trends and provide members with the right growth levers, while respecting their capital independence and their entrepreneurial freedom", says Hubert Olivier, Chairman of OCP and McKesson France.

"In a tough and increasingly competitive economic environment, the profession has undergone the most radical change in a century. In other words, while maintaining our values, we need imagination, agility and adaptability to calmly approach this great shift that leads us to the pharmacist as business owner, retailer and primary healthcare player. This also means that it will be necessary to be able, in the long run, to anticipate, plan and finance investments useful for innovations", says Lucien Bennatan, President of the PHR Group.

The ambition of OCP and the PHR Group is to develop together, to go faster, further, in order to better face the challenges of the future. Pharmacists need to adapt to new remuneration conditions, changes in practice patterns, changes in patient/client behaviour and society, the advent of e-health and digitalisation, and the emergence of new relationships between payers and health professional networks. The pharmacy is evolving towards a multi-competent centre for prevention, care prescription, patient accompaniment and personalised management promoting increased compliance.

To accompany these evolutions by having the necessary means, being part of an international group is an undeniable advantage, giving access to the evolutions of the profession and the officinal practices of a very large number of countries in Europe. This openness to the world represents an important asset in the context of the evolution of the model in France and in the concern of preserving the independence of the pharmacist.

Innovation is at the heart of the OCP model, engaged in a continuous reflection aimed at bringing pharmacists what they cannot find elsewhere and which transforms their daily lives. OCP, a McKesson Europe subsidiary and the PHR group will continue to anticipate and offer innovative solutions that create value for all members, in order to better support pharmacists in the transformation of their profession, ensure they thrive and achieve their ambitions. As part of the values shared with pharmacists, PHR Group will continue to implement its strategy of hybridising the business and of differentiating its products and services.

According to Lucien Bennatan, "The strengthening of innovation capacities at the service of independent pharmacists, owners of their pharmacies, in groups or networks, will enable us to be even more complete in terms of the support we already provide them and to ensure the future of pharmacies that place their confidence in us. We are convinced that there is strength in unity, but also that the convergence of interests on common projects will contribute to freeing up resources that will benefit everyone: pharmacists, pharmacy networks, employees and retailers. For the latter, future innovations should encourage the certification of the exercise and the development of highly differentiating services and allow the network to take charge of time-consuming activities. Purchasing logistics will also be concerned, with the aim of a flawless supply, the use of data, continuing education or phygital. Together, we will be the most dynamic and effective "pharmacy owners". This will strengthen PHR Group's DNA. As for its governance, it is perfectly preserved.”

For Hubert Olivier, "We wish to help member pharmacists to remove the obstacles to adaptation and evolution, by creating favourable conditions for sustainable growth and development. We will act as a catalyst for the development of the Ma Pharmacie Référence group and brand alongside Pharmactiv and Réseau Santé, as part of an ambitious project that will create growth and value for pharmacists in the networks. Finally, we want to support the commitment of the PHR Group in favour of the preservation of the territorial network, by proposing offers adapted to rural and district pharmacies, as well as to pharmacies in urban centres and shopping centres.”

About OCP

Founded in 1924, OCP is a distributor of innovative healthcare products and services for its customers and partners.

OCP is part of the McKesson Europe Group, whose majority shareholder is McKesson Corporation. OCP is a major player in the pharmaceutical distribution in France and an innovative partner for pharmacists. With the Pharmactiv and Réseau Santé groups, the Group brings together more than1,800 member pharmacies in France. OCP's value proposition - OCP&VOUS - is based on four pillars responding to the fundamentals of the pharmacy and taking into account the need for its transformation: product availability, purchasing performance, digital innovation and access to financing. This approach allows pharmacists to be supported in their role as health professionals. OCP plays a facilitating role with healthcare stakeholders and creates value for pharmacies and laboratories, at the service of patients.

About PHR Group

Pharmacie Référence Groupe is a group of pharmacists created in 1991 by 4 pharmacists, three of whom hold the positions of Chairman and Directors. Dynamic, innovative and agile, the Group is characterized by its sense of anticipation. A promoter since its inception of a primary healthcare professional pharmacist, Pharmacie Référence Groupe offers a wide range of complementary purchasing solutions and a wide range of professional services, as well as a brand, based on the principles of associated trade, integrating in a phygital concept store a differentiating positionfounded upon prevention and Natural Health, a unique consumer experience and a customer or patient path.

Pharmacie Référence Group is established throughout France and in Martinique.

With more than 1,500 member pharmacies and one pharmacy per week under its banner, the Group generates more than €2.1 billion in annual purchases.