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Pharmacy2U merges with ChemistDirect in £40 million deal

Pharmacy2U's founder Daniel Lee will take the role of chief operating officer after the merger

The new business created by the merger will serve 1.5 million customers, Pharmacy2U claims

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.

 


What do you make of this merger?

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14 Comments

Leon The Apothecary, Student

Getting a foot in the door early is going to be important with offering digital services like Pharmazon Prime. Logistically speaking, it could be a very effective system.

However. It needs to be done properly. No selling information, proper safeguards, no scandals of any kind lest they risk tarnishing the system forever.

Jayanti Ganatra, Community pharmacist

diabetes.co.uk are onboard with these guys

 

Barry Pharmacist, Community pharmacist

BGF has provided a £10m investment to support the merger and the new company's ambitious long term growth plans. The total value of the deal is in excess of £40m.

The chief executive of the new combined business will be ChemistDirect.co.uk chief executive Mark Livingstone, who has a strong track record in innovative internet-based businesses including LoveFilm and Graze.com.

Founder and superintendent pharmacist of Pharmacy2U Daniel Lee, who pioneered internet pharmacy in 1999, will take the role of chief operating officer.

Mark Livingstone said: "This is a landmark moment for internet pharmacy in the UK. We are creating the leading 'pure play' business in the sector - with unrivalled experience, facilities and scale.
"It is the beginning of a new era of convenience and choice for millions more patients, as we open up the full potential of internet pharmacy for the first time."

Daniel Lee added: "Online pharmacy has now come of age, with 80 per cent of GP surgeries now using the NHS Electronic Prescription Service and patients keen to shop online for health and wellbeing products."

BGF is providing £10m of investment to enable the management team at the new combined business to deliver online pharmacy and GP consultation services to millions more patients.

BGF's Richard Taylor said: "This is BGF’s second significant investment since the Referendum vote, demonstrating that there are business owners and management teams that are forging ahead with their plans. That is a positive sign.

"No one knows the outcome of the next few weeks, but now is not the time for business to start putting the brakes on. Now is the time to keep investing, keep partnering and keep innovating – and that is something we are wholeheartedly committed to doing."

The investment was led by BGF’s Richard Taylor, Chris Boyes and Rob Johnson. Richard Taylor will join the board of the combined business

Paul Dishman, Pharmaceutical Adviser

Hopefully it'll crash and burn

Barry Pharmacist, Community pharmacist

Wake up call for independents if ever there was one

Mr CAUSTIC, Community pharmacist

the problem is if the patient cannot get to the door in time ,either out or in the loo,and the meds are taken away back to the depot/sorting office. bit unfortunate if its hypertension meds and they have a stroke/ heart attack  because of it. who is going to tell the patient how to use their eye drops ?

Brian Austen, Senior Management

Thats what a delivery failure SOP should cover incorporating safeguards for patient health.

Z ZZzzzz, Information Technology

To answer your own question I point you to the film Robot & Frank.  I'm sure Keith Ridge is also a fan.

John Cleese, Production & Technical

Robot & Frank: "Set in the near future, an ex-jewel thief receives a gift from his son: a robot butler programmed to look after him. But soon the two companions try their luck as a heist team." So: what was the point you were trying to make here?

Old Timer, Manager

Someone has to take on the online supply function because like it or not a lot of folk will welcome this service and use it safley ,it is really no differnt to the many local Pharmacies ordering and del Rx for folk they have no contact with ,just need to safeguard the local service too .

 

Neeraj Salwan, Superintendent Pharmacist

See what I mean when nothing happens to the big guys, another slap on the face of the powers that be at GPhC... Get used to it *This comment has been edited for breaching C+D's community principles.*

Pill Counter, Pharmacy

*This comment has been deleted for breaching C+D's community principles*

Ketan Patel, Community pharmacist

1.5 million customers, imagine how much more data they can sell now

b t, Manager

Bet you that they will be taken over by one of the vertically integrated wholesalers once they grow the business a little more. My bet is that this will happen within 3 years.
 

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