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CMA merger inquiry clears Pharmacy2U purchase of LloydsDirect

LloydsDirect will be subsumed into Pharmacy2U, after the competition authority issued its approval following a merger inquiry.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has “cleared” Pharmacy2U’s purchase of its closest competitor LloydsDirect, it announced yesterday (March 12).

The competition watchdog said that it will publish the “full text” of its decision “shortly”.

Read more: CMA revokes Pharmacy2U/LloydsDirect enforcement order

Pharmacy2U chief executive Kevin Heath said that he was “delighted with the outcome” of the CMA’s inquiry into the merger.

He commended the “utmost professionalism and transparency” with which Pharmacy2U and LloydsDirect’s teams had helped the inquiry.

Read more: CMA launches first phase inquiry into Pharmacy2U/LloydsDirect merger

Mr Heath said that the businesses will now “embark on an exciting journey” that will see both companies merge into the Pharmacy2U brand. 

“Our patients and the accessible service we offer them remain our top priority through this transition period and beyond,” he added.


Competition concerns


The CMA launched an inquiry into the purchase of LloydsDirect in January, after launching an initial probe and imposing enforcement orders in November. 

The investigation came after Pharmacy2U revealed that it had snapped up Lloydspharmacy’s online prescription service LloydsDirect in October.

Read more: UPDATED: Competition watchdog probes Pharmacy2U purchase of LloydsDirect

But last month, the CMA fully revoked its initial enforcement order imposed on Pharmacy2U, in a move that suggested it had not found cause for competition concerns.

According to NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) data hosted on PharmData, Pharmacy2U and LloydsDirect were the top two pharmacies for items dispensed in November 2023, with Pharmacy2U dispensing 1.65 million items and LloydsDirect dispensing 1.1 million items.

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