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Pharmacy2U dispensing hub contract appealed by NHS

The contract for Pharmacy2u's second dispensing hub in Leicester has been appealed
The contract for Pharmacy2u's second dispensing hub in Leicester has been appealed

The NHS contract awarded to Pharmacy2U’s dispensing hub in Leicester has been appealed by NHS Resolution.

The online pharmacy business was previously granted an NHS contract for its second dispensing hub by NHS England, but this decision has now been appealed by NHS Resolution.

NHS Resolution confirmed to C+D yesterday (January 29) that the contract had been appealed, and said it has no further comment to make at present. The organisation added that its “full decision” will be published next week.

The Leicester facility is the second Pharmacy2U dispensing hub, and the company has said it will enable it to “dispense over six million medicines a month”.

“We had our license for the new facility approved previously by NHS England so we are disappointed that it has been held up on appeal,” it told C+D on Monday (January 27).

The company said it will work with the NHS to “ensure all feedback is answered and changes are made” to its application.

In a post on Linkedin last week, pharmacist and lawyer Conor Daly claimed the reason for the appeal was that the committee “could not be satisfied that the proposed procedures would secure a safe and effective service”. However this remains unconfirmed by NHS Resolution and Pharmacy2U.

In its 2018-19 financial report, Pharmacy2U said it would use part of a £40m equity investment secured in March 2018 to fund the development of this second automated dispensing hub.

What do you make of NHS Resolution's appeal?

Alan WHITEMANN, Communications

Looks like they're making serious "inroads" into Boots customer base.......about time too.

K.J P, Locum pharmacist

Seems Pharmacy 2u will be ripe for Amazon to take over ......

P M, Community pharmacist

amazon are going to wipe the floor with pharmacy2u..


Really? Wow, Superintendent Pharmacist

It still seems to be a gap in the provision around fridge line items. How is it that now all of our fridge items are temp tracked to the door now by huge cool boxes or delivery vans with fridges; however they are able to send in a box with a bit of wool insulation in the regular mail, with seemingly no provision to deal with items that cannot be delivered the first time. 

This to me is a major weakness in the system that needs to be dealt with before we should be taking this whole concept forward.

David Moore, Locum pharmacist

We had a patient to whom we supplied with Xalatan eye drops. Formulation that didn't require refrigeration. He then went to pharmacy2u who supplied the generic drug, no insulated container and no instructions to keep the product in a fridge.

Greatly Pedantic and Highly Clueless, Senior Management

Don't worry, the GPhC are on the case................

Richard MacLeavy, Dispenser Manager/ Dispensing Assistant

In response to Adams question, I think this is a normal activity as you scale a business. If you look at Amazon for example they don't just have one warehouse but several all over the country. This allows them to spread workload and provide faster delivery times. The delivery aspect could be a key factor in pharmacy2U's expansion plans. As for the other concerns, I agree. The danger in all this is if online pharmacies continue to grow at the current rate we will quickly enter a world in which many bricks and mortar pharmacies become unviable as they will loose too much dispensing volume. Despite all the rhetoric about a service based contract, no pharmacy is anywhere near viablitity based on services alone whereas online pharmacies are viable without needing to rely on service and retail revenue. It would be interesting to see what happens in a scenario in which the only pharmacy in town is threatened with closure because too much dispensing has gone online. Would the government really be willing to create large gaps in the network leaving some people without pharmacy provision alltogether. My guess is that faced with this scenario the governement would cough up money to support the network. If this does happen questions would need to be asked about why online pharmacies were allowed to develop in the first place


Adam Hall, Community pharmacist

I thought the regulations surrounding online pharmacies meant you had to be able to deliver anywhere in the country. If that is so, why do you need a second contract?

Olukunmi Popoola, Community pharmacist

Then exceptions will have to be made...

Freelance Chemist, Pre-reg Pharmacist

If they create a big monstar they will make a too big to fail company....

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