The UK’s biggest online pharmacy, Pharmacy2U, has joined the Company Chemists’ Association (CCA).
According to the CCA — the trade body for “large pharmacy operators” in England, Scotland and Wales, including Boots, Well, Rowlands and Superdrug — its members own around 5,500 pharmacies in total.
The announcement, published on 17 October 2023, was made one week after Pharmacy2U announced it had bought fellow online pharmacy LloydsDirect, previously owned by LloydsPharmacy.
NHS Digital’s electronic prescription service (EPS) nominations data show that Pharmacy2U and LloydsDirect were first and second in terms of the number of patients nominating them as their preferred option for receiving medicines prescribed electronically, with a combined total of 1.4 million patient nominations.
The CCA’s announcement said: “Since the company’s founding in 1999, Pharmacy2U has grown to deliver over 1.6 million prescriptions a month to over 750,000 patients.
“With a central ambition of supporting access to more convenient and sustainable NHS pharmacy services that are built around patient needs and preferences, Pharmacy2U is strongly aligned with the CCA’s mission of enabling community pharmacy evolution.
“Pharmacy2U’s vision of a thriving pharmacy sector is one that provides the backbone to NHS primary care provision, through a cross-sectoral approach that effectively utilises the expertise of both digital-first and high street providers across the provision of prescriptions, clinical care and health promotion.”
Malcolm Harrison, chief executive of the CCA, commented: “The CCA and its members have always embraced innovation and change. Our members have led on the hub-and-spoke model for supplying medicines, offering online medical services and developing new private healthcare services, including flu vaccinations, sore throat test and treat and independent prescribing clinics.
“Several of our members already operate their own distance-selling pharmacies (DSPs), therefore, having the largest DSP in England join the CCA is a natural fit.”
Kevin Heath, chief executive of Pharmacy2U, said: “I am confident that, as part of the CCA, we will be able to play an even greater role in ensuring the pharmacy sector is able to cope with — and even thrive against — the growing demands placed upon it.
“I am looking forward to meeting the CCA’s broader membership in the coming weeks and months, and sharing our own insights as to how the pharmacy sector can deliver for patients now and in the future.”