The General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) will conduct a "special inspection" of Pharmacy2U after the online pharmacy announced it may not deliver any medicines to patients between now and January 11, C+D has learned.
The regulator announced today (December 22) that it will carry out a joint inspection with NHS England following Pharmacy2U's announcement that it was experiencing "unforeseen difficulties" due to moving to a new "automated facility". Pharmacy2U said it was "struggling to send medicines out as quickly as required" on its website yesterday (December 21).
In its initial apology (see picture below), the online pharmacy said that it will not deliver "any prescriptions requested from December 21 until the week commencing January 11". But today it changed the statement, simply saying that newly-ordered repeat medications "may not be delivered" until that date.
NHS England today called on Pharmacy2U to "raise its game". "Frankly, this performance isn't good enough," an NHS England spokesperson told C+D.
Pharmacy2U's announcement came after patients took to Twitter to lambast the "disgraceful" delays to deliveries of their medicines.
@Pharmacy2U I placed an order 28.11, not received, no response to my emails and your phone number constantly engaged.Please respond.— jenny morris (@jennifermor) December 18, 2015
@Pharmacy2U Placed order in November, money taken that day, still not received and customer services say I can't cancel! Disgraceful— Lynda (@thetealady1) December 17, 2015
.@Pharmacy2U if I end up in hospital or harming myself in some way from antidepressant/betablocker withdrawal my blood is on p2u's hands!!— Sarah (@immoral_angeluk) December 15, 2015
Patients should contact their local pharmacy if they are concerned about delivery of their medicines, the GPhC said.
Read Pharmacy2U's latest statement in full below.
"Important notice: We apologise that there are currently delays on prescription orders, due to unforeseen difficulties in transferring to our new automated dispensing centre.
"If you are placing a new order for NHS repeat prescriptions, we would like to advise you that your medication may not be delivered until week commencing 11 January 2016.
"It is very important to be sure that you do not run out of medication, so regretfully, if you cannot wait until then it is safest for you to make arrangements with your doctor or local pharmacist to have your next prescription dispensed locally. We are extremely sorry if this causes you any inconvenience at this busy time of year.
"Our experienced dispensary team are working 24 hours a day and over the festive period to continue the service and dispatch medication as quickly as possible.
"We are contacting all patients who have already placed their order to let them know about the issue and help patients obtain medication elsewhere where necessary."
- Pharmacy2U notice on its website, December 22
The online pharmacy hit the headlines recently when the government privacy watchdog slapped it with a £130,000 fine for selling patient data to marketing companies.
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