Online business Pharmacy2U will merge with competitor ChemistDirect.co.uk in a £40 million deal, the companies have announced.
The merger was backed by a £10 million investment from the Business Growth Fund and the combined business will serve 1.5 million customers, Pharmacy2U said on Monday (July 4).
These patients will be offered an online home delivery prescription service, an online doctor service and more than 6,000 health and well-being retail products, Pharmacy2U said.
Founder and superintendent pharmacist of Pharmacy2U Daniel Lee will take the role of chief operating officer for the new entity, while ChemistDirect chief executive Mark Livingstone will reprise his role.
Online pharmacies "come of age"
Mr Lee said that the online pharmacy model has now “come of age”, as patients are keen to use the internet to shop for health and wellbeing products.
“This merger means that we are in an unrivaled position to respond to the growing demand for these innovative services,” Mr Lee said.
Mr Livingstone described the merger as a “landmark moment” for internet pharmacy in the UK.
Pharmacy2U launched its £3.5 million dispensing hub in Leeds in May, which it said was working smoothly, despite it being linked to delivery problems across the Christmas period.
The same month, the General Pharmaceutical Council suspended Pharmacy2U’s commercial director for three months following the company’s sale of patient data in 2014.