Pharmacy2U has recently acquired LloydsDirect in a confidential deal, bringing together two of the UK’s foremost online pharmacies. Over time, both entities will integrate their operations under the Pharmacy2U brand, the companies said in a joint statement.
The two businesses complement each other effectively, and their teams will now work closely together to uphold the patient-centric approach and service quality for which both are known individually, the statement added. However, there is currently limited clarity regarding the sale process and its impact on Lloyds staff.
According to NHS Business Services Authority data from PharmData, Pharmacy2U dispensed 1,528,436 items in June 2023, while LloydsDirect, previously owned by LloydsPharmacy, dispensed 1,142,891 items. This positions them as the top two online prescription pharmacies for items dispensed, with Well.co.uk in third place at 128,691 items.
“We are delighted to welcome the LloydsDirect team to the Pharmacy2U family,” said Kevin Heath, CEO of Pharmacy2U. “Their remarkable accomplishments over the past eight years, particularly in enhancing patient experience and prioritising sustainability, have been impressive. By blending the strengths of both our enterprises, we can offer patients enhanced access and convenience.”
Heath emphasised that both companies offer dedicated leadership, a profound commitment to pharmacy, and an extended range of digital health offerings, complemented by cutting-edge dispensing technology. “We are enthusiastic about uniting two enterprises united by patient-centric values and online proficiency to advance the benefits of pharmacy for the NHS and its patients,” he added.
“First and foremost, we believe this will benefit our patients and our efforts in supporting the NHS,” added Connie Cha, Managing Director of LloydsDirect. “The achievements of both businesses highlight the dedication of the Pharmacy2U and LloydsDirect teams in providing accessible and convenient pharmacy services to assist patients in managing their prescriptions and overall health.”
“We anticipate collaborating as a unified pharmacy team, utilising state-of-the-art technology and automation in dispensing, while also expanding access to digital services in the days ahead,” Cha further said.
Pharmacy2U has been investing in resources to advanced clinical care and automated dispensing technology, modernising access to NHS services and broadening its health e-commerce offerings, the statement said. Established in 1999, the company currently serves over 750,000 patients across England, and reported a pre-tax profit of £2.9 million from revenues of £165.1 million for the fiscal year ending in March 2022.
LloydsDirect, initially known as Echo, started in 2015. It was acquired by McKesson UK, then-owners of LloydsPharmacy, in 2019 and was rebranded to its current name in July 2021. In November 2021, the LloydsPharmacy group was bought for £477 million by private equity company the Aurelius Group. Under the new ownership, the company experienced substantial divestment of its assets.
Meanwhile, the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) recently confirmed a net decrease of 101 pharmacies in England for the year ending March 31, 2023, compared to the previous period. This comprises 371 closures and 270 new contracts. Additionally, data from the General Pharmaceutical Council projected a decrease of 43 registered pharmacies in England, Wales, and Scotland during the same period.