The report – published by delivery firm CitySprint Healthcare today (August 23) – found that demand for pharmacies to deliver medicines to patients' homes has risen in the past year, increasing the “pressure” on pharmacies to offer “retail-style convenience”, the delivery firm said.
Of the 350 pharmacists surveyed – working across independents, “chain” pharmacies and in “clinical” pharmacy settings – 79% said their pharmacy business offers home deliveries.
Of these pharmacists, 84% reported an increase in demand for home deliveries in the past year.
Of all respondents to the survey, 62% said the most common reason patients request medicines delivered is because poor health prevents them from getting to the pharmacy, while 34% said it was the “convenience of not having to come to the pharmacy”.
Staff time spent on service
According to the survey – conducted by research company Censuswide – 21% of pharmacy businesses offering a delivery service spend an average of 11 hours a week of pharmacist and staff time managing deliveries, while 12% said this amounted to between nine and 10 hours.
Thirty-six per cent of pharmacists said they are "responsible for the work of delivery drivers", according to the survey's findings.
Seventy-four per cent of independent pharmacists offering a delivery service said they advertise for, and employ, their own delivery drivers, while 38% have used existing members of staff to deliver medicines.
Just 6% of pharmacists across independents, multiples, and “clinical” settings said their business relies on taxis or minicabs to make deliveries.
When the remaining 21% of survey respondents were asked why they do not provide home deliveries, 40% said it was because “the business does not have enough man power”, 23% said it would be “too expensive”, while 15% said they are “concerned about funding cuts and want to keep costs down”.
Commenting on the findings, CitySprint Healthcare chief development officer Darren Taylor said: “Pharmacies are under unprecedented funding and regulatory pressures – and the growing demand for home delivery can be an increasing drain on resources if not managed effectively.”