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Pharmacy2U loses 5,000 patients after Xmas delivery disaster

The online pharmacy business lost 14% of its electronic prescription nominations in December and January after failing to deliver medicines


More than 5,000 patients turned their back on Pharmacy2U in the wake of its failure to deliver medicines over Christmas.

The online pharmacy business lost 14% of its patient nominations through the electronic prescription service (EPS) over December and January, a C+D data investigation found.

Nominations plummeted from almost 36,800 patients on December 11 to less than 31,600 by January 29, according to data from the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC).

The biggest single loss came in the week leading up to Christmas, when 1,487 patients chose to stop using the business.

This was the same week that the General Pharamceutical Council (GPhC) conducted a “special inspection” of the online business, after the company announced it was struggling to get vital medicines to patients due to “unforeseen difficulties” moving to a new “automated facility”.

“We will not be able to deliver any prescriptions requested until the week commencing January 11,” Pharmacy2U said at the time.

Following the inspection, the GPhC called on the online pharmacy to “urgently improve” its service to patients

Patient nominations continue to fall

Patient nominations continued to nosedive into the new year, with 2,278 patients abandoning the business between Christmas Day and January 22.

However, the numbers have stabilised since January 22, with total nominations fluctuating just below the 31,600 mark.

Pharmacy2U’s fortunes are in marked contrast to its competitors. Between December 12 and January 22, only one of the other top 10 nominated companies saw its number of nominations fall.

Pharmacy2U told C+D on January 12 that its delivery issues were “being resolved”, and it had begun taking new orders. This week, it told C+D that it could not comment on why nominations had fallen, or what it would do to win back customers.

C+D’s initial data investigation last November revealed that patient nominations for Pharmacy2U had surged in the weeks after the company was fined £130,000 for selling patient data in October.


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