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Pharmacy2U loses 5,000 patients after Xmas delivery disaster

Pharmacy2U would not comment on why its nominations have fallen

The online pharmacy business lost 14% of its electronic prescription nominations in December and January after failing to deliver medicines


More than 5,000 patients turned their back on Pharmacy2U in the wake of its failure to deliver medicines over Christmas.

The online pharmacy business lost 14% of its patient nominations through the electronic prescription service (EPS) over December and January, a C+D data investigation found.

Nominations plummeted from almost 36,800 patients on December 11 to less than 31,600 by January 29, according to data from the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC).

The biggest single loss came in the week leading up to Christmas, when 1,487 patients chose to stop using the business.

This was the same week that the General Pharamceutical Council (GPhC) conducted a “special inspection” of the online business, after the company announced it was struggling to get vital medicines to patients due to “unforeseen difficulties” moving to a new “automated facility”.

“We will not be able to deliver any prescriptions requested until the week commencing January 11,” Pharmacy2U said at the time.

Following the inspection, the GPhC called on the online pharmacy to “urgently improve” its service to patients

Patient nominations continue to fall

Patient nominations continued to nosedive into the new year, with 2,278 patients abandoning the business between Christmas Day and January 22.

However, the numbers have stabilised since January 22, with total nominations fluctuating just below the 31,600 mark.

Pharmacy2U’s fortunes are in marked contrast to its competitors. Between December 12 and January 22, only one of the other top 10 nominated companies saw its number of nominations fall.

Pharmacy2U told C+D on January 12 that its delivery issues were “being resolved”, and it had begun taking new orders. This week, it told C+D that it could not comment on why nominations had fallen, or what it would do to win back customers.

C+D’s initial data investigation last November revealed that patient nominations for Pharmacy2U had surged in the weeks after the company was fined £130,000 for selling patient data in October.


Why do you think Pharmacy2U's nominations have fallen?

We want to hear your views, but please express them in the spirit of a constructive, professional debate. For more information about what this means, please click here to see our community principles and information


Nalin Shah, Community pharmacist

Phenomenal business  model, would love to know if the bottom line is better or on par with the average bricks  and mortar contracter.

Online is the new kid on the block and here to stay. , footfall is vanishing as all  pharmacies are offering collection  and delivery services.

The only growth seems to be in coffee shops etc where obviously online is not an option.Maybe we should start a coffee kiosk instore..IS THERE A WHIZZKID OUT THERE WHO CAN UPSTAGE ONLINE?


Sami Khaderia, Non healthcare professional

so are you saying   We should wake up and smell the coffee!!!

Sachin Badiani, Pharmacy owner/ Proprietor

I would like to know how many of these customers who did leave Pharmacy2U went to other online pharmacies or to bricks+mortar pharmacies.

Brian Austen, Senior Management

I presume P2U pay their fair share of corporation tax. I expect the public would be disillusioned if they realised how little corporation tax some foreign owned pharmacy companies pay. In the past, just like some big 'tech' firms, some have paid hardly anything compared to their huge income and even succeeded in receiving rebates.

Simon MEDLEY, Community pharmacist

they havn't made a profit yet have they ? Also stroong links to Andersen consulting who's head office is in Dublin

Sami Khaderia, Non healthcare professional

You may not like online pharmacies but just like aldi and lidl...this company has challenged the status quo..and if contractors are not careful they will continue to loose 1000s of rxs as this mode of service takes over.....AGAIN ITS CALLED BUSINESS...look it up

Linda Hameed, Community pharmacist

We had few of your patients come to ours as you left them with no meds. Your customer service is shocking and did not want to help these patients who got left with no meds over chrismas.

Sami Khaderia, Non healthcare professional

so you are an angel Mz hameed and have never made a you think everyone else recieved their meds over christmas? sounds like u are a tad jeleous too!!

Meera Sharma, Community pharmacist

It doesn't matter what article I read here, it's the same rubbish from you. Definate troll with no idea of community pharmacy, that's why you choose to display yourself as "non-healthcare professional" - pathetic!

Sami Khaderia, Non healthcare professional

You sound miffed because ppl are choosing online pharmcies....LOL 

Marc Borson, Community pharmacist

as we are scientists, look at publically available data and you will see that average item yield per nomiated pateint is circa 2.5. Not 5 as suggested.

Sami Khaderia, Non healthcare professional

Its irrelevent if I work for pharmacy2u.....if you feel Pharmacy2 u are breaking the law..inform the authorities.....I think you are envious Mr Kent

Simon MEDLEY, Community pharmacist

They broke the law & their contract and have deceived patients into signing up for their services - and have got away virtually Scot free - that's why people hate them. It's not jealousy .

Sami Khaderia, Non healthcare professional

apparently 30,000 odd ppl DONT hate there the similar hatred for the big two who have 50% of the  market share...? do you know the hourly rate paid to relief managers ? 

Sami Khaderia, Non healthcare professional

32,000patients  at a NIC of £9 at an average of 5 items per patient  is £1.44 M..... 

Yearly turnover in excess of £17 M...Looks like the jokes on you kent

David Kent, Community pharmacist

Can I assume you work for them? What is a non-healthcare professional?  And to you it's Mr Kent with a capital K.

Peter Badham, Superintendent Pharmacist

With such terrible service , Pharmacy2U, should have lost all of their patients

S Morein, Pharmacy Area manager/ Operations Manager

Something called patient choice Peter. You may not like P2U but it appears a considerable number of patients still do like the remote form of dispensing.

David Kent, Community pharmacist

Wonderful news

S Morein, Pharmacy Area manager/ Operations Manager

Why is that wonderful?

Yes P2U are competition but for pharmacy to survive it needs innovators. PSNC is supposed to represent ALL contractors not just those that have been established in old fashioned contracts.

It's no surprise that the DH despairs of the luddite pharmacy profession, riven with a closed shop mentality that the union dinosaur barons of the 1970's displayed.

Shaun Steren, Pharmaceutical Adviser

Completely agree S Morein, but as long as they are sanctioned appropriately. Regulators are happy to destroy individual pharmacists, but seem to give the larger companies a free ride. 

Simon MEDLEY, Community pharmacist

one month of bad service  = 8.3%, but they've lost 14 % nominations ...

Farm Assistant, Community pharmacist

Ho Ho Ho

Barry Pharmacist, Community pharmacist

Good investigative reporting. Did we ever find out why P2U have a very large Government loan in their accounts? £450K if I remember correctly.

Tom Jerry, Community pharmacist

Who are the owners/directors??

Sami Khaderia, Non healthcare professional

32k patients...not a bad outfit..!! win some loose some.... 

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