Patients will be fast-tracked and guaranteed to get their prescription within two minutes at some Boots stores if they order repeat prescriptions using the company’s app or website, the company has announced.
These ‘express pick-up lanes’ will be introduced in around 600 Boots stores from the end of May 2019, with a promise that customers can pick up their online-ordered prescriptions in two minutes or less.
Prescriptions will also be available to be collected from Amazon-style lockers in two Boots stores, as the company attempts to improve its online pharmacy presence.
The move is a step in the multiple’s plan to secure its place in an increasingly competitive online pharmacy market as Boots says it is creating “a market-leading omni-channel pharmacy experience”.
The innovations were announced on 24 May 2019 at the same as the company launched a new online repeat prescription service via its existing app and website, which will be linked to a patient’s GP record, from July 2019.
Boots had a previous online NHS repeat prescription service, but patients will have to sign up again to the new service.
As the online pharmacy market continues to expand, Pharmacy2U — the UK’s biggest online pharmacy — announced in September 2018 that it had bought a new dispensing facility that will allow it to dispense up 7.5 million items per month.
In January 2019, Well Pharmacy announced that it had signed up more than 25,000 patients to its online NHS prescription service that was launched in July 2018.
And, in May 2019, Co-op announced that it was returning to pharmacy, having sold all its brick-and-mortar pharmacies in 2014, with the launch of a health app that will also trial the collection of prescriptions from lockers in a number of Co-op stores.
Both Boots and Co-op have recently bought health technology firms as they seek to strengthen their digital pharmacy arms.
Richard Bradley, pharmacy director at Boots, said: “In ten years’ time, I think pharmacy services at Boots will be almost unrecognisable; pharmacists will spend less time dispensing and more time offering clinical services.
Through our investment in digitising pharmacy, our pharmacists will have more time to bring even greater value to the overall primary care system, offering greater choice and access to healthcare.”