Prescriptions ordered online would remain free for all. Photo: iStock

Boots has introduced a £5 charge for new patients who opt for deliveries from stores.

Patients can either choose to pay the one-off fee or subscribe to 12 months of deliveries for £55. The charge will be extended to existing patients later in the year.

However, the pharmacy chain said it would continue to provide free delivery service from the store for the ‘most vulnerable patients’.

Exemption criteria include:

  • Patients requiring urgent end of life care
  • Emergency delivery where the Responsible Pharmacist determines the need to act because of an immediate clinical need, for example at the urgent request of a GP
  • Specific NHS reimbursement criteria where we are contractually obliged to offer delivery at no charge

Prescriptions ordered online through both the website and the Boots app would remain free for all patients.

“Community pharmacy is unquestionably facing challenges and we need to adapt our offer to respond. As a result, we have invested heavily in digital technologies to offer a free, easy-to-use service for delivery of repeat prescriptions ordered online,” Boots Pharmacy director Richard Bradley said.

“Patients who make use of the in-store service will be required to pay for delivery should they require it, with exceptions in place to cover our most vulnerable patients in circumstances where their care necessitates delivery.”