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'Some' Lloydspharmacies already charging for all home deliveries

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Lloyds confirmed the pilot has been running since the beginning of this year
Lloyds confirmed the pilot has been running since the beginning of this year

"Some" Lloydspharmacy branches in Surrey and Sussex have been charging all their patients for home deliveries for the past four weeks, C+D has learned.

Lloydspharmacy revealed to C+D in November that it would start charging new customers for medicines deliveries to their homes, and added that it was planning a pilot in which all customers would be charged for deliveries.

The multiple confirmed to C+D yesterday (January 25) it has been operating the pilot “at some of our stores in Sussex and Surrey since the start of the year”.

The multiple will be fully evaluating the pilot, “but will not be sharing details of this”, it said.

Lloydspharmacy confirmed the cost for a six-month delivery service is £35, and £60 for 12 months.

Patients can still collect their medicines in person from a pharmacy or register online to receive postal delivery free of charge, it added.

A C+D reader poll in December suggested that over a quarter (27%) of pharmacies plan to start charging patients to deliver medicines to their homes, while 42% “are considering” charging patients for this service.

Read Catherine McDermott's comment piece for C+D here for a full explanation of why Lloydspharmacy has made this decision, and how she predicts it could affect the sector.

18 Comments
Question: 
Has your pharmacy starting charging for deliveries?

Disillusioned Sussex chic, Dispenser Manager/ Dispensing Assistant

I agree that some patients should pay for delivery especially if they are physically capabl of getting to the pharmacy but, what about Nursing homes, patients who are bed ridden and still at home and those awaiting end of life meds, "oh! don't die just yet sir, you haven't paid for your delivery!!" Are nursing homes expected to pay and if so will that be for each patient or collectively? are there to be no consessions at all? most elderly patients cannot use a computer so ordering online is not an option,

Gaining a profit is one thing but, if you lose the very people you hope to make that profit out of because they've gone elswhere, what's the point? It doesn't make business sense at all. It's not difficult to implement a system to weed out the "I Wanters" and the real "Needers". what do I know? I'm just a humble skivvy who has the patient interest at heart.

Sunny Jim, Pharmacy Buyer

Big up Pharmacy 2u....they will be the winners, FREE DELIVERY 

 

Sunny Jim, Pharmacy Buyer

Lloyds have exclusive rights in Many towns where there is just one Pharmacy. How can the NHS allow them to charge ppl when it’s operating a monopoly in that town? 

C A, Community pharmacist

The NHS never explicitly paid for deliveries iirc, there are arrangements in the tariff for NHSBA/Local authorities to 'arrange the provision of additional pharmaceutical services' ... such as 'a home delivery service'
Most people arrange provisions by offering money in exchange for goods/services

Valentine Trodd, Community pharmacist

Delivery isn't a contracted service - they can charge what the market will bear.

Jonny Johal, Pharmacy Area manager/ Operations Manager

Free delivery service was introduced by Lloyds because they were losing scripts to other contractors. The ‘other contractors’ were using the free delivery service to entice customers to let them pick up from their surgeries. This service, so called, which primary intent was to fight the script numbers war amongst contractors, since when has it become a customer benefit?

Caroline Jones, Community pharmacist

I totally support the idea of charging; however, this is likely to be a tactic by Lloyds to increase their customer base. Stores will be charging patients for delivery, but if you use their online service you can get it delivered for free! So in effect actively moving patients away from their branches....reducing the number of branches and hence staff........

Brian Austen, Senior Management

This is a calculation by Lloyds that by divesting themselves of unprofitable pharmacies and unprofitable services the remainder of their business after consolidation will be sustainable, cost efficient and more productive. Those that don't follow suit and make changes according to their circumstances will disappear. Boots are divesting themselves of poor performing pharmacies but they have decided to keep it quiet. Maybe they aim to hide distress sales of their struggling sites?

Ilove Pharmacy, Non Pharmacist Branch Manager

Nice, but it's all too late anyway. When a backbone was called for you were all too busy undercutting/slashing eachothers throats and undercutting. Now in the final death throes you pretend this is something akin to discovering fire. Funny bunch.

Barry Pharmacist, Community pharmacist

Interesting to note the news from US re pharmacies preparing for Amazon to enter the market....

CVS Health Corp. is cranking up prescription deliveries to customer homes or workplaces, as the drugstore chain tries to squeeze more of an edge from a massive store network that puts 70% of the U.S. population within three miles of one of its locations.

The nation's second-largest drugstore chain will start offering free, same-day deliveries in December from its sites in Manhattan. It will also expand next-day deliveries nationwide early next year and bring same-day service to several more cities.

Drugstores and other retailers have been pushing more customer-friendly services in recent years in part to counter competitive pressure from Amazon.com Inc. The online retail giant already offers to its Amazon Prime members in some cities same-day deliveries of consumer goods typically sold in drugstores. That's a direct threat to the networks of thousands of stores that chains such as CVS built in order to get closer to the customer.

CVS plans to expand same-day deliveries to San Francisco, Boston, Miami, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., by early next year.

Might not be entirely relevant but perhaps patients in city centre locations in the UK might expect similar if Amazon get going here?

Stephen Eggleston, Community pharmacist

... all Tesco (other supermarkets are available) have been charging for all deliveries of food for ages.

This is a contentious issue within the profession - no one wants to adversely impact on the vulnerable, but, equally, pharmacy cannot and must not be expected to bear the cost of this service in a time when funding is falling

Ilove Pharmacy, Non Pharmacist Branch Manager

Just wondering, do Tesco deliver free of charge to the vulnerable? Or Amazon for that mattter?

Adam Hall, Community pharmacist

As far as I know, you want it from Amazon, you either pay for it (£4 - £5) or spend over £50 - and that is on items on which they "control" the margin

Leena Koria, Hospital pharmacist

About time! I've been saying this for years! Means less time wasting for our drivers and pharmacy staff.

N patel , Non Pharmacist Branch Manager

Well done lloyds
This is the way to go
No more freebies

Sunny Jim, Pharmacy Buyer

Well, maybe you can do that if lloyds have the exclusive right in a particular town...people won’t have a choice but to pay. This will particularly affect he old and diasabled. 

C A, Community pharmacist

The DH won't care, there are plenty of online pharmacies that have no option but to deliver your medication

Adam Hall, Community pharmacist

I wonder just how sustainable they are? Also, when will there be the wrong medicine sent to the wrong patient - who takes the blame? Not Royal Mail, I bet

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