Michael Henry, the company’s healthcare director, told C+D last week (November 15) its “digital NHS pharmacy service” would allow patients to use the electronic prescription service (EPS) to order their medication through Superdrug’s website, for home delivery.
Mr Henry said the launch of the service today (November 22) is “the most notable thing we are doing” to “commemorate our 25th pharmacy anniversary”. “This marks our intent and our focus on digital innovation, as being a real driver of our plans for the future”.
“[Patients will] be able to manage and order repeat prescriptions, and have it delivered to their home, without the need to come in and visit a pharmacy. People can still access advice from a Superdrug pharmacist in a bricks-and-mortar store. But…the industry has moved in this direction in the last couple of years, and we’re following,” he said.
The launch comes five weeks after C+D exclusively revealed that Well plans to launch an online prescription service "in three or four months".
Centralised dispensary “already up and running”
Mr Henry said the company plans to use a hub-and-spoke model to dispense online prescriptions through a “centralised dispensary” based in the Midlands, which is “already up and running”.
Superdrug is targeting “patients on chronic medications, and people who have busy lifestyles who would appreciate the convenience that a digital option can provide”, he said.
“Optimistic about future”
Mr Henry added that the launch of a private chickenpox vaccination service across 57 stores this year “has gone down very well”.
He stressed the company remains “keen to focus on all of the opportunities that pharmacy has to offer”. It will roll out elements – such as new pharmacy counter and dispensary designs – the company initially trialed in a concept store in Banbury, Oxfordshire, to 125 pharmacies by the end of 2018.
Superdrug will also make it possible for pharmacists “to focus on [providing] services [and] to have full days working in their clinics as opposed to being at the dispensing bench”, he said.
The company is “optimistic about the future”, said Mr Henry, who added that pharmacy has a “strong role to play in supporting the health service”.