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Pharmacy2U to provide general GP consultations online

Practice Pharmacy2U now offers £25 online general consultations, in which patients submit information electronically and are then emailed a response from the Pharmacy2U doctor and sent a prescription through the post.

Pharmacy2U has expanded its online doctor business to offer patients general GP consultations, the company has told C+D.

The internet pharmacy business has bought out online consultation company PrivateMeds and now offers general consultations in addition to consultations on specific conditions, such as weight loss and erectile dysfunction.

"We've partnered with online doctor services for a while... but we made a decision that we wanted to own this service and look at extending our own offering," Pharmacy2U managing director Daniel Lee told C+D.

Pharmacy2U said online consultations were the future in light of Jeremy Hunt's NHS mandate, released last week

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Mr Lee argued online consulting could be "the future", as health secretary Jeremy Hunt named it as one of the NHS mandate's goals last week.

"He wants to offer those consultations on the NHS – for us, it's a private service, but it's the way the industry is progressing," Mr Lee said. "It's possible that your GP can't see you straight away, so certainly [an online service] is more convenient for those patients."

"I think the way we're accessing technology with our smartphones, online consulting is only going to grow," Mr Lee said, and Pharmacy2U would now look at making its services available on "any platform convenient". "The message is: watch this space," Mr Lee added.

The £25 consultation involves the patient submitting information about their medical condition online. They will then be emailed a response from the Pharmacy2U doctor and sent a prescription through the post.

Lloydspharmacy acquired online doctor service Doctor Tom in March last year and offers its service on a range of conditions including hair loss and cystitis. Day Lewis and the Co-operative Pharmacy also have online doctor services for specific conditions.

Are general online GP consultations a positive step for patient care?

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