A new platform arises


Advantage Group and Instigo have entered into a merger agreement to create a new entity, Pharmacy Platform

The merger brings together more than 350 pharmacy members across Australia and an additional 500 pharmacy clients serviced through the new entity’s specialised business units.

The combined entity will remain privately held as a pharmacist owned and operated business, trading under the newly formed entity to be known as Pharmacy Platform Pty Ltd.

Pharmacy Platform as a merged entity is planned to house three national pharmacy brands: Advantage Pharmacy, Chemist Discount Centre, and Pharmacy Catalyst.

Additionally, the three distinct functions of services, technology, and wholesale and distribution will be provided through the following business units:

  • Instigo, provider of comprehensive pharmacy support and professional services;
  • Buy-IT-Right, provider of a sophisticated inventory management and data warehousing system;
  • ExSell Australia, a wholesale and distribution arm;
  • Know-IT-All and LifeClub, providers of a pharmacy loyalty program;
  • Rx360, a business reporting and management provider; and
  • SmartPharm, a platform for pharmacy training and development.

Advantage Group CEO, Steven Kastrinakis, and Instigo Managing Director, Michael Flannery, alongside founders and executive directors of the two groups, will remain as equity partners and board directors of Pharmacy Platform.

Pharmacy Platform will be headed by a newly appointed Group CEO, Roger Millichamp, which it says is an exemplary leader well-versed in the intricacies of the pharmacy industry.

Mr Millichamp will be supported by the current leadership team of both Groups, led by Hugo Ortiz from Advantage Group and Andrew Pattinson from Instigo, with Richard Manthey also joining the leadership team.

The key objective of forming Pharmacy Platform is to leverage both Groups’ capabilities and maximise the delivery of enhanced value to its stakeholders, they say.

‘Stronger together’ is the phrase Mr Flannery uses to describe the newly merged entity.

“Years of experience as a pharmacist and a pharmacy owner have taught me to always look for innovation and sustainability in your business,” he said. 

“To achieve this, organisations need to be underpinned by a strong and engaged team and this is exactly what Pharmacy Platform will represent to the industry; two independent businesses founded and owned by pharmacists providing a powerful and unique opportunity for its members and clients.”

Mr Kastrinakis said, “This merger will especially benefit our pharmacy members and clients.”

“As Pharmacy Platform, we will be ideally positioned to support and transform their businesses through our unique service offerings, which in turn will keep them highly relevant to their communities around Australia.

“It’s an exciting opportunity in a challenging time for our industry.

“Pharmacy Platform is here to help our members and clients progress through COVID-19, succeed through 7CPA and be a leading growth platform towards CP2025.”

Advantage Group and Instigo both say they embrace a common culture of innovation and excellence, which will ensure the success of the merger and solidification of Pharmacy Platform.

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