The UK’s largest online pharmacy dispensed an average of nearly a quarter of a million items every month in 2017/2018 — more than any other distance-selling pharmacy.
According to figures published by the Department of Health and Social Care, Pharmacy2U dispensed an average of 243,803 items each month, nearly eight times more than the remote pharmacy with the next highest dispensing rate, Homeward Pharmacy, which dispensed an average of 31,439 items per month.
Pharmacy2U said in September 2018 that it was planning to open a new facility in 2019 with the capacity to dispense 7.5 million items each month, as part of plans to “service the demand for NHS repeat prescriptions delivered direct to patients”.
The government distance-selling pharmacy figures reveal that Rowlands Pharmacy dispensed an average of 24,417 items each month in 2017/2018, while Boots and LloydsPharmacy dispensed an average of 21,039 and 7,846 items, respectively.
All three multiples dispensed under either two or three pharmacy names. Rowlands, for example, is listed three times: twice as ‘Rowlands Pharmacy’ and once as ‘Rowlands Internet Pharmacy’.
A spokesperson for Rowlands told The Pharmaceutical Journal that it has since closed down its internet pharmacy arm, which was listed as ‘Rowlands Internet Pharmacy’, and its two remaining sites, listed as ‘Rowlands Pharmacy’, are delivery hubs where care home and monitored dosage system trays are assembled.
Meanwhile, Boots confirmed the reported figures listed under ‘Your Local Boots Pharmacy’ and ‘Boots Online Pharmacy’ are correct, but declined to comment further on the numbers.
Earlier in January 2019, Boots announced that it had bought the health technology company Wiggly-Amps, which it says will allow patients to order prescriptions online by linking with their GP records.
The distance-selling only pharmacies with the highest dispensing rates after Pharmacy2U are: Homeward Pharmacy, dispensing 31,439 items per month; Total Medcare Limited, dispensing 23,653 items; Leedale Pharmacy, dispensing 22,579 items; and Pharmalogic, dispensing 20,434 items.