The service is launching via Pharmacy2U’s Chemist Direct brand – which sells over-the-counter medication, toiletries, vitamins and supplements – and will initially focus on some areas in Yorkshire only, the companies said in a statement last week (June 3).
Royal Mail and Pharmacy2U are committed to expanding the partnership “in the coming months”, to improve patients’ experience and “innovate in the delivery space”.
C+D has asked Pharmacy2U for more details on the service, including a list of medicines that will be eligible for same-day delivery.
Commenting on the partnership with Royal Mail, Pharmacy2U CEO Mark Livingstone said that he hopes “repeat prescriptions will become even more accessible and it will lead to more people adhering to their doctor’s orders”.
Increased demand for medicine deliveries
A YouGov survey of 2,208 adults – commissioned by Royal Mail and carried out in April – revealed that “39% of those who ordered medication online to be delivered by post in the past 12 months did so for the first time”.
Almost two-thirds (59%) of people choose to have their medicines delivered “for ease and convenience”, while 37% select home deliveries to “avoid making journeys to the pharmacy” and 24% “to avoid risk of infection from COVID-19”, according to Royal Mail.
Just under a quarter (22%) of the respondents to the YouGov survey said they are likely to order “any type of medication online to be delivered in the post in the next year”.
Clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) patients in England could have their medicines delivered via the pandemic delivery service, which came to an end on March 31 as CEV patients were told they no longer needed to self-isolate from April 1.
Royal Mail and Pharmacy2U believe their same-day medicine delivery service “is especially important for vulnerable people” during the pandemic.
Echo and Royal Mail pilot
In March, Royal Mail launched a trial with Lloydspharmacy's Echo to speed up the delivery of repeat and acute prescriptions, which could eventually lead to a same-day delivery service.
A spokesperson for Echo told C+D today (June 7) that the pilot had now finished and it is reviewing how it can expand its reach beyond the initial cohort.
“As well as this, we are looking to push the delivery timeframes to be able to offer the benefits of this type of service to many more patients,” they added.
“We remain excited about the prospect of a same-day provision and will be looking to relaunch this in the coming months.”