How Invatech Health became what it is today
From community pharmacist to one of the largest independents in the South West
In 1994, Tariq Muhammad, a self-employed pharmacist, had an idea. He had come to the conclusion that community pharmacy had become very retail driven and that there was a lack of focus on professional services.
As a pharmacist himself, he knew that pharmacists were well qualified and more than capable of doing more than running a high street shop and performing the perfunctory role of dispensing. The plan was to create a new brand of service-led pharmacies where pharmacists could realise their potential in terms of playing a significant role in medicines management and health outcomes.
He began by purchasing a low turnover pharmacy in Bristol. The contract was relocated into new premises and with a new conceptual design, and ‘Pharmacy Plus’ was born.
Pharmacy Plus provided a fresh range of services such as medication reviews, community education, chiropody and drug information. The business quickly expanded around the region to 12 pharmacies by 1998, and by 2002 Pharmacy Plus had acquired 25 pharmacies across the South West stretching from Gloucester to Plymouth. The services offered by Pharmacy Plus, such as Pharmacy Plus Direct (the first prescription collection and medication delivery service), won many awards for innovation, and the business became one of the largest independents in the South.
The move from community pharmacy to solving medicines management problems in the care home sector
Whilst running Pharmacy Plus, Tariq began investigating ways to improve medicines management in care homes. Tariq had identified medicines management in care homes as an area in need of improvement; many care homes were still using manual, time-consuming, paper-based systems, which didn’t allow for communication between care homes and pharmacies and left a lot of room for error (e.g. giving the wrong drug, stock wastage).
Using the model Tariq had created at Pharmacy Plus as a basis (a model of central supply using a hub and spoke infrastructure combined with a back-end IT system to manage prescription management, clinical checks and dispensing) as a basis, Tariq oversaw the development of a new system for use in care homes. He developed the first electronic barcoding system for medication (Proactive Care System (PCS) now known as ATLAS PCS) designed to achieve safety at the point of administration by nurses. PCS soon became the market leader and changed the way medicines are managed in care homes.
From Pharmacy Plus to Invatech Health
Having stepped down as CEO of Pharmacy Plus in 2013 (and having acquired the Intellectual Property Rights to the PCS system, now re-branded as ATLAS PCS), Tariq moved on to explore new opportunities and set up Invatech Health. Invatech is a new technology company providing Software As a Service (SaaS) solutions within primary and secondary healthcare, and the company is currently working on a number of new and exciting products.
One of these products is Titan, which was launched in 2018.