Norchem Group History


Norchem Limited was formed in May 1960 by six independent Pharmacists as a buying group and was originally set up to benefit independent pharmacists and this remains the prime purpose of the company.

We became a Full Line Wholesaler in 1975 but still supplying to a restricted list of customers.

Norchem progressed for 30 years as a ’members only’ organisation as one regional wholesaler among many in the North East of England.

In the early 1990’s we began to supply non-shareholders as competition consolidated and intensified.

In the late 1990’s we brought in a Chief Executive to tackle competition and create growth.

We created a 100% owned subsidiary – Norchem Healthcare Limited – to purchase pharmacies from independents.  This move was partially defensive but also to ensure wholesaler growth.  The first pharmacy was purchased in 2000.

Most pharmacies were purchased during the early part of the 20th century but some were also sold to independent pharmacists who were then tied to the wholesaler.

The wholesaler operation grew year on year to 2007 at which time a number of manufacturers cut out independent wholesalers and a fellow independent wholesaler was asked to manage the operational side of the business.

The retail side today has 20 pharmacies with a turnover of around £20M while the wholesaler turnover has declined to similar levels.  Both businesses are performing well financially.