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Lloydspharmacy to charge new patients for home deliveries

Lloydspharmacy: Independents may choose to follow our lead
Lloydspharmacy: Independents may choose to follow our lead

Lloydspharmacy will start charging new customers for medicines deliveries to their homes, it has exclusively revealed to C+D.

The multiple is also “planning a pilot for charging all customers” for deliveries, it added.

Update: Costs confirmed

The delivery charges for new customers will be introduced across Lloydspharmacy “over the next few weeks”, Celesio UK confirmed to C+D this afternoon.

Patients will be charged £35 for a six-month subscription to the service, and £60 for the 12-month subscription.

Catherine McDermott, operations director at Lloydspharmacy's parent company Celesio UK, told C+D that the announcement is the multiple’s attempt to “take the lead” on the sector’s attitude towards medicines deliveries.

“Independent pharmacies may choose to follow our lead, some may not, but I believe that a multiple pharmacy making the first move allows smaller operators to make a choice.”

“One-to-one contact with a healthcare professional allows us to reinforce lifestyle messages, educate patients about their medicine and can contribute to adherence,” she added. “Bringing customers back into pharmacy allows us to perform those interventions more frequently.”

She also stressed that Lloydspharmacy patients “will still have access to a number of other options”.

“Our online service provides free delivery of prescriptions, and we also offer ‘click and collect’.”

The announcement comes less than three weeks after Celesio UK managing director Cormac Tobin announced his surprise resignation, and less than a month after the multiple revealed it would cease trading in 190 locations.

Read Ms 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.

The Twitter reaction
Would your pharmacy consider following Lloydspharmacy's lead and charging for home deliveries?

Graham Codd, Finance

The problem when a firm with no morals such as Lloyds, becomes one of the main suppliers of prescription services is that they have become far too profit orientated having little or no concern for the role they are also supposed to serve, and were bound to take advantage of patients needing medication. Had they restricted free delivery of NHS medication to the disabled, chronically sick and elderly this would have been excusable, but this decision should have been made by the prescribing doctor not by the board of a bunch of shop-keeper. The fact that they decided to impose a blanket ban on even existing patients makes it obvious that it was solely a commercial decision. Despite the fact that at 04/06/18 17:54 Lloyds site continues to offer a non-existent service, free delivery of NHS prescriptions, actually delivery is being withheld on prescriptions filled as long as 25/05/18, without an up-front payment of £60. Staff love to complain of abuse, but this is patient abuse.

Locum Morgan, Locum pharmacist

Lloyds is doing absolutely the right thing in charging for deliveries. In the fullness of time this charge will be extended to the internet service in the same way that supermarkets charge for home deliveries regardless of groceries being sourced from a central depot. 

The next charges that will come in will be for manually popping out thousands of tablets into dosset boxes and blister packs which is extremely time consuming, expensive and loss making. 

After that, why not charge for blood pressure checks and all of the other 'free' services currently gifted to patients? And whilst we're at it, change the telephone numbers to premium rate in order to also provide some additional funding for pharmacies. 


Gerry Diamond, Primary care pharmacist

I would encourage people to support local pharmacies over the on line ones, as I have seen patients left without medication as the on line pharmacy maybe 100 miles away and the delivery has not come on time. So the online people phome me to issue an extra script, which I say not on your nelly as we sent one five days ago. Their excuse well we did not have everything in stock so we did not deliver any of the patients medication, my reply tough you should send them all the items asap. Unbelieveable people use your local chemist for goodness sake!!!

John [email protected], Community pharmacist

Hi all can’t help feeling this is all my fault I started ordering and delivery in patients own 7 day dossette boxes while managing a boots branch in the early 80,s increased buisness was fantastic at the time but in retrospect possible the worst thing i ever did for pharmacy. Sorry 

S J- Locum, Locum pharmacist

Lloyds Motto

Cut back of staff to the minimum, Cut Down On Wages to the minimum, Cut back to Locum wages to the minimum, Can do no more cuts... ah Charge the patients aha, Their excuse NHS cuts. Absolute and utter rubbish like their business

S J- Locum, Locum pharmacist

By the way Rowlands heading downhill now. 

Boom Shakalaka, Locum pharmacist

Crack on and charge big lads - the independents will wollow in their dramatic increase in Rx numbers thus nullifying the cost of delivery service. Boom boom!

Honest Pharmacist, Community pharmacist

The most important line of this entire article is...

“Our online service provides free delivery of prescriptions, and we also offer ‘click and collect"​

This is just another way for LloydsPharmacy to force their patients to use their central dispensing hub in Stockport! That is what this is all about, that is Lloyds' ideal scenario - to have it all done centrally, less labour costs and less money spent on pharmacists and staff. 

Don't be fooled that this is Lloyds "leading the way", this is just another tactic by an uncaring and thoughtless company, who wouldn't know integrity if it hit them in the face and who doesn't care for a second about their patients or employees!

Danny TheRed, Community pharmacist

So what does ICARE stand for.....

Honest Pharmacist, Community pharmacist

It's easy to make up corporate acronyms, goals, and values, but it's an entirely different story to actually bring them to life! 

You must still be new to Lloyds and haven't yet woken up to the reality of the way they treat their colleagues.

I think to Lloyds their ICARE values are more likely to stand for Incompetent Company Abusing Robotic Employees...

Tien On, Community pharmacist

iPhone used to be called idiots phone. Similarity?

Sunny Jim, Pharmacy Buyer

This isn’t such a good move !! Lloyds are situated in places where they have sole contractor rights ie Chatteris in Cambridgeshire. This means ppl will be forced to pay as the nearest pharmacy is 20 min away 

Meera Sharma, Community pharmacist

For once, good move. Free services in this sector at present are not warranted. If a service is needed, then monies to be found from the central pot, not by individual pharmacies digging into their pockets. For the person who questioned housebound - this should be something that DoH/Jeremy Hunt should be thinking about and funding properly, not decimating pharmacy funding and expecting free services!

Ilove Pharmacy, Non Pharmacist Branch Manager

Wolverine 001 , Pharmacist Director

this is a great article and shows the corruption from the top down.....

Shaun Steren, Pharmaceutical Adviser

Nothing is free, somebody else merely bears the cost. The chains have passed the cost of deliveries onto employees through lower wages, reduced staffing levels and increased work loads. Of course, the British public couldn’t care less about this, they want their stuff now!!! 

I am utterly fed up of hearing anecdotes of how patients want to keep pharmacies local and independent, reading about anaemic petitions that recruit less than  one percent of the customer base. The British public want things as cheap and convenient as possible and they are happy for others to bear the cost of this. The British are too vulgar to sustain a genuinely independent market place based on quality and this is true across the retail sector. 

Alan Bennett is correct when he says the British excel most at hypocrisy. The British are adept at saying one thing and doing another, paying lip service is the nations speciality. We will see how the great British public choose between ‘free’ online pharmacy or ‘paid’ bricks and mortar. 

Valentine Trodd, Community pharmacist

And when they've all electronically nominated Amazon-Pharma because they do free delivery and give you nectar points, who's door will they pitch up at on Saturday morning when they've run out of their blood pressure tablets expecting an emergency supply? Except it'll be a charity shop now, since the pharmacy had to close - but the pharmacist might still be working there!

Fire Walker, Community pharmacist

Amazon is ready for a move on the US pharmacy market, the news from Lloyds just confirms the ever growing trend of online healthcare. From a 70 page report from Morgan Stanley just the other day......still think Amazon are bluffing? Just a short snippet below...I'd love to read the full 70 page report......


"In a 70-page report released Monday, analysts at Morgan Stanley broke down all of the potential ways Amazon could get into the industry, at varying degrees of involvement. 

"Amazon’s disruption of healthcare is a foregone conclusion," the analysts wrote. "Recent hires and public statements make it clear that Amazon is already moving into medical supply distribution."

If Amazon wanted to go all-in and get into the pharmacy business, especially by opening pharmacies at Whole Foods locations, it could be a major boost to Amazon Prime membership in one key demographic: People over 55."

Valentine Trodd, Community pharmacist

This most important sentence in this piece...

“Our online service provides free delivery of prescriptions, and we also offer ‘click and collect’."

This is the real story... the rest is just window-dressing.

JOHN MUNDAY, Locum pharmacist

I think is a step in the right direction as far to many people have been taking the proverbial for far too long with free deliveries. What an utter waste of time - unless, perhaps for housebound / disabled folks over 75? It's also about time that non disabled / non nursing home folks paid for their MDS trays as well as this is a nonsense that is being abused costing our Pharmacies millions in wasted toil and effort every year.

Leon The Apothecary, Student

This is only part of a grander scheme for decentralisation, removing the traditional brick and mortar in favour of what I can only assume at this stage a more cost-effective way of dispensing, namely their CDU for online services.

Sue Hicks, Community pharmacist

This is definitely about driving patients towards Lloyds free online service. If independants follow suit and start charging then the next thing they know their local population will have been leaflet dropped and told all about free deliveries if you order online with Lloyds. How stupid do they think we are? We are hearing locally that one of our Lloyds branches has stopped offering deliveries and is directing patients to the online service instead. Charging is simply another way of making sure the local delivery service is finished!

Barry Pharmacist, Community pharmacist

Beware - this is not just about charging for deliveries. The bigger idea is in the article quote...."Our online service provides free delivery of prescriptions, and we also offer ‘click and collect’." This is more about encouraging patients to move online and independents need to see what is happening get a plan in place. Just need to look at monthly YOY growth from P2U to see the bigger picture.

Chris Locum, Locum pharmacist

I agree. You don't just close overlapping premises or sell duds without trying to reinvest and pull back revenue some other way. Anyone thinking just bricks and mortar will struggle to survive in next few years. The cuts are to pull the weeds of out the pharmacy garden in the eyes of the paymaster.

Kyle Cromey, Community pharmacist

I believe this initiative, specifically with regards to a 'subscription fee' will give the patients/customers a sense of entitlement which will lead to unrealistic demands... "I need this delivering this afternoon, I have paid a subscription for this service".

Valentine Trodd, Community pharmacist

>>"will give the patients/customers a sense of entitlement..."

Some time ago I had a 'lady' phone us asking could my delivery driver pop around to pick up an 'urgent' prescription that needed filling and delivering back to her that afternoon (she was obviously too busy job hunting or somfink to come to the pharmacy in person...) . Turned out to be the pill...

Chris Locum, Locum pharmacist

There is already a sense of entitlement courtesy of the NI contribution lie. The reason why they get several free attempted deliveries without thinking of the cost.

Soon-To-Be Ex-Pharmacist, Superintendent Pharmacist

For once I can't fault them on this one. My one caveat would be for the GENUINELY housebound with no other way of getting in to the pharmacy. Are they applying any exemptions in cases such as this?

Kevin Western, Community pharmacist

Why should they? If the NHS want to fund it great!- look at the cost of the cars for mobility.. it would be chickenfeed!

Soon-To-Be Ex-Pharmacist, Superintendent Pharmacist

A tad heartless - hope you're never housebound.


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