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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?

PoPeYe- Popeys Car Wash, Locum pharmacist

The gradual mission-creep of being heartful over the years is possibly one of the main reasons that Community Pharmacy is everyones favourite doormat and provider of may "free" non-contractual services - having to come out of someone's income or pay-packet.

Arun Bains, Community pharmacist

First the CAC decision and now this... is common sense finally filtering back into pharmacy???

THB _B, Community pharmacist

Let's hope Boots follows.. then without doubt the indi sector would also be happy to drop this unwelcome cost.

Watto 59, Pharmacy owner/ Proprietor

I have always considered offering free services ancilliary to the NHS contract to verge on creating an invidious distinction between NHS contractors. I personally do not see the difference between offering free script delivery to say discounting the NHS prescription charge, or perhaps providing a free gift with every presciption. For years the regulatory authorities have essentially turned a blind eye to the aggressive tactics   of multiples offering free services allied to NHS pharmaceutical provision. Perhaps they were scared to take them on if there was a legal challenge.  The net result has been similar to a "prisoner's dilemma" scenario which has forced the majority of contractors to follow  loss making free services provision  just to keep  existing NHS business. Of course the majority of contractors have eventually suffered from this and  it is therefore no surprise that Lloyds' previous aggression has eventually resulted in this announcement.  Unfortunately without  wholesale adoption of ceasing free services all contractors  will continue to lose money which they can ill afford to do in the present situation.  Without  regulatory intervention I cannot see how such a general agreement amongst contractors to cease free services will ever happen.           

Ilove Pharmacy, Non Pharmacist Branch Manager

Doesn't matter anyway. Everybody will be out of business anyway. Sell up like the other smug owners and enjoy your millions. No need to waste your life bickering with stricken Locum s and employees

Wolverine 001 , Pharmacist Director

Dont you feel sorry for the locum or employee that is going to buy the pharmacy.....

Paul Samuels, Community pharmacist

About time---far too much abuse of system.Why should we deliver when patient tells us they are out--could we deliver between x & y o'clock or next day!!!!!!!!

ComPharm Pharmacist, Superintendent Pharmacist

Hopefully DoH will now realise that cuts are now effecting vthe service level

Ilove Pharmacy, Non Pharmacist Branch Manager

Good news. Put in place common sense practice once your industry is decimated and headed for oblivion. Well done Lloyds. Bravo!


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