Avicenna has added 34 branches to its portfolio in the acquisition of the Sheppards Pharmacy group for an undisclosed sum.

All of the 34 community stores are ‘well positioned and well invested’ pharmacies that are mainly based in the South Wales Valleys, with some pharmacies also in Pembrokeshire and around Bridgend, the group said.

This brings the pharmacy group’s estate to 135 branches across the UK.

It comes just two months after the group bought Dudley Taylor Pharmacies, some of which were also based in Wales.

Commenting on the most recent acquisition, Jonathan Power, Avicenna CEO, said: ‘I look forward to working with our new colleagues and further investing in the stores, taking forward the vision and legacy that Alan and Jean Sheppard have built since founding in 1972 when their first pharmacy was opened in Aberdare.

He added: ‘The expanded store footprint will allow us to accelerate investments in technology, pharmacy support and our people not only for the benefit of our colleagues and customers but those of our 1,200 independent partners.

‘At Avicenna, we feel passionate about taking a forward-thinking, long term approach to pharmacy. We strive to reduce our environmental footprint whilst continuing to improve the service we offer to our customers, tailoring what we offer to meet the needs of each of the unique communities we serve.’

This follows Avicenna's launch of a prescription ordering app — named My Meds — in December, which enables customers to order and track repeat NHS prescriptions from their chosen pharmacy.