Pharmovo turns pharmaceutical waste into revenue

Katharina Kittelberger

Startup Stories

In the UK there is £300 Million of Medical Waste each year. Of this, around £140 Million is accounted for by expired medicines. This loss of revenue is most felt by Wholesalers across the country. Addressing this issue, our London-based ecosystem startup Pharmovo Ltd has developed an online platform that allows pharmaceutical companies to both distribute near to expiry pharmaceuticals and buy wholesale items at a significant discount to market prices.

Akber Tahir, CEO & Founder describes the aim of the healthcare startup, which was founded in 2020, as follows:

Pharmovo is the Online B2B Platform that allows for the seamless listing and purchase of Near-to-Expiry (12 months or less) Pharmaceuticals.

To realize this vision, the startup developed an app that makes it easy to list stock that would end up in the bin to their network of wholesalers. Therefore, Wholesalers can take advantage of the Near-to-Expiry stock sitting on their shelf and turn waste into revenue. In an interview with 5-HT, Akber provides exciting insights into Pharmovo's work.

Akber Tahir, CEO & Founder of the healthcare startup Pharmovo 

What problem motivated you to start the company?

"Pharmovo is the B2B app that distributes the stock sitting on your shelf, rapidly to a range of EU pharmaceutical companies. We are on a mission to get pharmaceuticals through to the patient and not the bin!

Turn waste into revenue, optimise your pharmaceutical portfolio by sourcing pharmaceuticals through our platform at a competitive price and show your customers that you are ESG aware, by signing up to or contact us at" 

What problem motivated you to start the company? 

"I returned home from a long-haul trip, as a Type 1 Diabetic in a foreign country, I had a lot of insulin pens with me. When I returned home, I binned almost $4000 worth of insulin. At this moment I recognised that if individuals have this issue than larger pharmaceutical companies will also experience pharmaceuticals expiring at a greater scale. 

My market research confirmed this £400 million of pharmaceuticals expire every year in the UK, and Billions across the EU. This motivated me to build a platform that corrects this issue while simultaneously offering lower priced pharmaceuticals to a competitive market."

The interface of the Pharmovo app 

How do you convince a pharmaceutical company, a health insurance company or another potential client to set up a pilot project with you?

"Pharmaceutical Companies register to our platform at Our clients email us with an Excel spreadsheet of the pharmaceuticals they wish to distribute. We then notify our entire network of the available products. We then rapidly distribute these products to our network. Which translates to an increase in revenue and decrease in waste for our clients.  

Additionally Pharmaceutical Companies can procure their typical stock at a significantly cheaper price than their traditional supplier. Which optimises your portfolio of pharmaceuticals and reduces the cost of procuring stock and the time it spends taking up valuable inventory space, and ultimately a swiftly improved P&L.

We differ from other online pharmaceutical platforms, by our cross-border network, ability to optimise our clients portfolio and through a focus on reducing wastage and retaining revenue. As a startup we are able to personally discuss all distribution and supply needs with our clients.

Health Insurers can source and procure demanded pharmaceuticals on our app, at a lower cost then traditional suppliers. This translates to a direct decrease in a claim cost and an improvement in your Combined Ratio. This is as all Pharmovo Products are at least 20% cheaper than market prices."

Who are your current customers (groups) and who do you want your potential customers to be?

  • "Distributors - Use Pharmovo to distribute any stock they have sitting on their shelf and procure at dramatic discounts, whilst forging new relationships with companies across the EU

  • Manufacturers - Use Pharmovo to reach new customers from across the EU, can advertise any new products to our network of approved pharmaceutical buyers and locate stock approaching expiry for comparative batch testing

  • Clinical Trial Organisation - Salvage Investment from unused pharmaceuticals from trials

  • Pharmacy Chains - Procure stock at a cheaper rate than their current rates

The Current Geographies we cover are the UK and the EU. We are rapidly expanding across the EU and will be active in MENA in 2023."

Where do you see yourself in 3 years and how can 5-HT support you?

"Pharmovo is on the path to be the largest and most diverse Pharmaceutical Online Platform in the EU. By 2025 we aim to be active across the EU, MENA and also the USA. Pharmovo has plans to further solve this problem by launching a Direct-2-Consumer Online Pharmacy offering low cost pharmaceuticals directly to patients."

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