The complaints relate to claims made by Pharmacy2U in two television adverts and a tweet sent from the company account, the advertising watchdog confirmed to C+D this afternoon (February 22).
Eight of these complaints were in direct response to Pharmacy2U’s claim that “managing repeat prescriptions online…can save the NHS over £300 million a year on prescription costs”, the ASA added.
The complainants “challenged whether the claim…could be substantiated”.
One complaint "challenged whether the TV ads made it clear that the practice of ordering repeat prescriptions on behalf of patients is prohibited in certain parts of the UK", the ASA explained.
Another questioned Pharmacy2U's claim that patients "spend three-and-a-half hours a month travelling to GPs and pharmacies and queuing up and waiting", the watchdog told C+D.
The claims used in Pharmacy2U's marketing materials originate from its report, written by Dr Duncan Petty, research practitioner in primary care pharmacy from the University of Bradford and published in November 2017.
The ASA stressed that it is “currently investigating” the complaints, and “has not come to a judgment on the case yet”.
@JulietBauer Following the Budget, £300m of potential savings to the NHS from online repeat prescribing are detailed in Dr Duncan Petty’s report – published this week. Read it here https://t.co/lYPPedfhtx— Pharmacy2U (@Pharmacy2U) November 23, 2017
C+D has contacted Pharmacy2U for comment.
In 2016, the General Pharmaceutical Council suspended Pharmacy2U’s commercial director for three months for the company’s sale of patient data in 2014. The company stressed at the time that it was “sincerely sorry", and that no medical information had been shared.