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Well launches pharmacy inside WH Smith in Gatwick airport

Well: Travellers can buy pharmacy medicines and can access healthcare advice
Well: Travellers can buy pharmacy medicines and can access healthcare advice

Well Pharmacy has opened its first branch inside a WH Smith in Gatwick airport to offer a “one-stop shop” for travellers, but without dispensing prescriptions.

The Well pharmacy opened inside the existing WH Smith store at the airport’s north terminal on April 1.

The pharmacy does not dispense prescriptions from the store, but it does offer “a wide range” of pharmacy (P) medicines and healthcare advice from pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, Well told C+D last week (April 12).

It is accredited by the General Pharmaceutical Council and also sells health and beauty retail items, it added.

Trials in Southampton and Southend

WH Smith said the two companies have been working on the partnership for the last year with “success” in trials in Southampton and Southend airports.

“Retail space in travel locations is often very constrained…and expensive,” WH Smith said in a report.

“We seek to maximise the return from every square metre of this space. This process has, over the years, led to significant evolution of our formats and ranges,” it continued.

“We have been trialling combining the traditional WH Smith format with a pharmacy in partnership with Well Pharmacy…providing time pressed passengers with a one-stop shop customer offer.”

10 Comments
Question: 
Has your pharmacy embarked on any new retail ventures?

Leon The Apothecary, Student

It's a further venture into the splitting of dispensary from a retail pharmacy. There's a lot of ways this could evolve later on down the line, I would personally expect some more conversation on previous subjects.

George Ibrahim, Community pharmacist

I believe Superdrug have a pharmacy at Edinburgh airport, so this isn’t a first out of the gate story

K.J P, Locum pharmacist

On what basis were they granted permission ?

Necessary or desirable !!!

Ben Merriman, Community pharmacist

Only needed for an NHS contract....

Uma Patel, Community pharmacist

W.H Smith used to run a pharmacy at Heathrow in early 80's as they won the tender against Boots. The bookshop was run by non book company as Smiths lost the tender for the bookshop

A B, Community pharmacist

Sounds like a great job for a pharmacist. I think giving OTC advice is one the best parts of the job.

Imagine no hunting for scripts, no MURs (probably), no trying to source medicines at below DT price, no mountain of box ticking, no item targets, no MDS etc. etc.

Maybe this will be the future when P2U and alike are doing all the scripts!

C A, Community pharmacist

They don't dispense scripts - therefore don't have >3 months worth of PMR data so can't do MURs.

David Moore, Locum pharmacist

A Pharmacy that doesn't dispense prescriptions? Must be like a petrol station that doesn't sell petrol.

Lucky Ex-Locum, Superintendent Pharmacist

I'm surprised they haven't got a dispensary just to supply all the numpties that forget to take their medication on holiday with them. Wouldn't need an NHS contract for that.

C A, Community pharmacist

The numpties wouldn't want to pay because they get it for free from the NHS. It's a common complaint.

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