Maxwellia Raises $4.4 Million to Bring More Medicines to UK Pharmacies

By Bruce Harpham Tuesday, April 20, 2021

A growing British healthcare startup company is working to bring medicine to the public faster. Maxwellia has raised €3.7 million ($4.4 million) in investment from Praetura Ventures. Established in 2013, the company plans to use the funding to increase its drug manufacturing and expand further.

A pharmacist checking his inventory.

Maxwellia Focus on the Contraceptive Pill

In 2021, Maxwellia is planning to focus on the women's health market with a new product. Pending government approval, the business plans to offer Lovima, a non-prescription contraceptive pill for women. According to Statista, 29% of British women use the pill as their primary form of contraception.

If the startup company is successful in the UK market, it has a significant business opportunity elsewhere in Europe. More than half of women in Czechia (formerly known as the Czech Republic) and more than 40% of women in Portugal use the pill as their primary form of contraception as of 2018.

The startup business may also help to save the government money on health care. “Almost half of pregnancies and one-third of births in England are unplanned, costing the NHS £240 million ($331 million) every year,” Anna Maxwell, CEO of Maxwellia told HBW Insight. In 2018/2019, the British government spent approximately 152 billion pounds ($209 billion) on the National Health Service.

Growing With the Health Self-Care Trend

Maxwellia is positioned to achieve business growth partially because it is well aligned with the British government. To reduce demand on the taxpayer-funded National Health Service (NHS) hospitals and doctors, the UK government encourages people to seek care and medicines from pharmacies and pharmacists.

According to the Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee, there are more than 42,000 registered pharmacies and 9,000 pharmacy technicians in England alone. The Guardian reports that the UK has 2.8 doctors per 1,000 people, below the OECD average of 3.5 doctors per 1,000 people as of 2019. As a result, the UK encountered the COVID-19 pandemic with a shortfall of doctors compared to other countries.

“As a pharmacist, I have seen first-hand how important they are for helping people self-care. It is vital more medicines are safely changed from being prescription-only so people can access them following a short consultation with a pharmacist," Anna Maxwell, chief executive of the health startup company, told EU Startups.

The Manchester Investor Supporting Maxwellia

Praetura Ventures led the 2021 investment round in the pharmacy-focused company. The investor has already invested £100 million ($137 million) in early-stage business companies. Praetura Ventures's portfolio includes Patchwork (an app business serving over 10,000 clinicians in the UK), Sorted (a delivery and logistics company for ecommerce), and XR Games (a game studio business based in Leeds that produces virtual reality games).

Promoting the Startup Company With a Book

Anna Maxwell, CEO of the business, published a book "Switch Dynamics — A Practical Approach to Switching Medicines for Self Care" in 2013. The short book is aimed at explaining how pharmacists can enable access to medicine.

A 2013 review from the Pharmaceutical Journal points out that "for companies interested in expanding their portfolio to the self-medication market, this book should prove to be a useful starting point and should be required reading.”

About the Author


Headshot of Bruce Harpham

Bruce Harpham is an author and marketing consultant based in Canada. His first book, "Project Managers At Work," shared real-world success lessons from NASA, Google, and other organizations. His articles have been published in CIO.com, InfoWorld, Canadian Business, and other organizations. Visit BruceHarpham.com for articles, interviews with tech leaders, and updates on future books.

Related Articles