Layer 1

Pharmacy2U 'capitalises' on DH push for pharmacy efficiency

Pharmacy2U's latest investment follows an initial £10m growth capital received last year
Pharmacy2U's latest investment follows an initial £10m growth capital received last year

Pharmacy2U plans to "capitalise" on the government's drive for greater efficiency across the pharmacy sector, after receiving £7 million investment to grow its repeat prescription service.

“With the continued push by the Department of Health to drive cost efficiencies throughout the pharmacy sector, Pharmacy2U provides a scalable, cost-efficient model, and is well-placed to capitalise on the positive market dynamics,” the company said in a statement today (May 8).

Pharmacy2U CEO Mark Livingstone added: “We look forward to implementing our growth strategy and pioneering the most cost-effective digital pharmacy service we can."

The government has repeatedly said its cuts to community pharmacy funding are designed to make the sector more “efficient”.

In a letter to the Prime Minister – revealed during the High Court case in March – chancellor Philip Hammond recommended community pharmacy move from traditional bricks-and-mortar businesses “towards scaled-up, innovative supply solutions employing digital technology”.

Patient registrations double

The new funding package comes 10 months after Pharmacy2U received a £10m investment to fund its merger with competitor

The “improved operational efficiencies” and “transformed marketing strategy” under the newly merged company has seen new patient registrations double over the last six months, and monthly prescription volumes double over the last 12 months, Pharmacy2U said.

The latest funding will enable Pharmacy2U to “accelerate its marketing strategy” and support “the rapid growth of its home delivery repeat prescriptions services”, it added.

Richard Taylor of the Business Growth Fund (BGF) – the coalition of banks behind the funding packages awarded to Pharmacy2U – said the BGF “continues to be excited by the online pharmacy sector”.

Pharmacy2U’s £3.5 million dispensing hub in Leeds (pictured) – which launched in May 2016 – is capable of dispensing 700,000 prescription items a month, it said.

How have the funding cuts affected your pharmacy?

Jay Badenhorst, Superintendent Pharmacist

I wonder how many patients will be left without their medicines because of the current NHS cyber attack and 'shut down' of the N3 network. And I wonder how many local community pharmacies well be expected to help pick up the pieces.
I know that all community pharmacis will be affected but can you imagine if P2U had a cyber attack... surely they are more at risk?
Now imagine if there were four NHS dispensing hubs in England which does 60% of all prescriptions... FUN AND GAMES!

Meera Sharma, Community pharmacist

This is the where the £10millin funding came from - I'll let you draw your own conclusions!

Meera Sharma, Community pharmacist

How was thsi funding awarded to Phramacy2U to merge with ChemistDirect - it's scandalous in current climate! This money could have easily been used to fund 4-5 trading groups to encourage economical scale up of repeat dispnsing using automation, and encourage investment in the pharmacy communities that they serve. A company that has a poor customer service history, FTP proceedings, legal actions gets awarded this?! What a joke. Someone forgot to do a bit of background checking by the looks of it!

bertie bassett, Pharmaceutical Adviser

Check out their Trust Pilot reviews....something very strange going on! Lot's of reviews this morning, several from people who have already reviewed them before. A flurry of 5 star reviews following any one star reviews....I could be wrong but it doesn't seem genuine??

Rubicon Mango, Academic pharmacist

Would that not be classed as dishonesty, i.e. gphc ftp?

John Cleese, Production & Technical

I think it would be classed more accurately as a conspiracy theory.

Valentine Trodd, Community pharmacist

The trouble is we have a system that allows P2U to poach our customers and cream off the easy stuff... but when things go wrong (which they inevitably will e.g. patients runs out of meds, needs emergency supply, postal strike, bad weather, etc.) the customer knows they can come back to us to sort them out. Customer loyalty is almost non-existent anymore - they will go where they perceive they are getting the best deal. And most will not think their decisions through - heck, many of my customers have no idea how the system works! We do so much for them now, they are totally detached from the process. We will end up with a few big P2U clones churning out 90% of the common or garden stuff, and the bricks & mortar will be left the crumbs i.e. the messy bits no one else wants. 

Diana Taylor, Primary care pharmacist

I can't help feeling you are giving p2u a lot of free publicity here, and on twitter

S Morein, Pharmacy Area manager/ Operations Manager

Good for P2U an organisation that never whines about so called "cuts" and is innovative in its model of operation. Yet the luddite majority of contractors want to stand still in the same way the horse and cart manufacturers did when the car was invented. Nothing to stop any contractor competing with P2U but the over paid contractors want to continue their gold plated existance by trying to deny competition 

R Patel, Community pharmacist

S morein--You can't call yourself an Operation manager when you don't understand the value of a face to face health provider. May be you can tell me when P2U patients need advice and or emergency supplies, the can get Royal Mail to courier them the medicines. Or at Xmas time, the MDS system fails to deliver the blister pack, it's the 'bricks and mortar' pharmacy that does the damage limitation service, even delivering at the end of the day to a patient who has unwittingly signed up with this company due to their misleading leaflets. I would like to know 

A Hussain, Senior Management

Is an online pharmacy all that innovative?  It was when they started it but not really nowadays.  What else do they do that is innovative?  They are all about scale and have invested in the machinery to meet that scale.  I have a robot, but I wouldn't say I'm all that innovative.  From the outside it looks like they would be in a right mess if they managed to secure the patients to dispense 700,000 items per month, judging by the service it provides for 130,000 items.

Snake Plissken, Student

As far as I know the most innovative thing P2U has done is create a deceptively misleading letter to get patients to sign up to their services, only to then find the patient comes frolicking in to the pharmacy to collect their medication that there's nothing there.


Chris Pharmacist, Community pharmacist

To be fair, their tactics to 'persuade' practice managers and other surgery staff to target their patients are/were pretty innovative...I recall one of my local surgeries informing all of their patients to register for P2U, some would call it bribery, others offering inducements, others would call it innovation.

Leon The Apothecary, Student

What tactics did they use, Chris?

Charles Whitfield Bott, Pharmacist Director

reistration of patients is not important, its retention.

A Hussain, Senior Management

Pharmacy2U do about ten times the number of items we do a month.  Looking at the complaints on twitter alone, they get things wrong (mostly service wise) more than ten times as often as we do.  Are these the efficiencies we are hearing about?

A Hussain, Senior Management

I look forward to seeing their "accelerated marketing strategy".  The current one has a tendency to confuse vulnerable patients.  If you didn't know better you'd wonder if that was the idea.

N O, Pharmaceutical Adviser

" new patient registrations double over the last six months"

More headache for the regular pharmacist in explaining an elderly patient that, what he/she signed was not your pharmacy but a stupid company sending these letters to you to sign and post free of cost. What a joke P2U is making!! Efficiency ???? by confusing people !!! Digital !!! Can we have a Digital Parliament, so that we can make more efficiency by not paying the snoozers in there ???

Job of the week

Pharmacist Manager
Midlands, Cheshire & Dorset
Salary dependent upon experience