Chemist Direct merges with Pharmacy2U

Tue, 05 Jul 2016 | MERGER

Two online pharmacies, Chemist Direct and Pharmacy2U, are merging, forming a 1.5 million-strong customer base in the process.

The marriage between the two firms, backed by a £10 million investment from the Business Growth Fund (BGF), follows the opening of Pharmacy2U's new £3.5 million dispensing hub in Leeds, where it is based. The total value of the deal exceeds £40 million.

Mark Livingstone, the current chief executive of Chemist Direct, will head up the newly enlarged company, while one of the two founders and superintendent pharmacist of Pharmacy2U, Daniel Lee, will take up the position of chief operating officer.

The venture will offer an online-only home delivery prescription service for NHS patients and online doctor consultations for a broad range of common ailments, and will be capable of dispensing one million prescription items a month.

“It is the beginning of a new era of convenience and choice for millions more patients, as we open up the full potential of internet pharmacy for the first time,” Mr Livingstone said.

Adding that, “BGF has confidence in our plans, and their long-term, minority partner approach was the right fit for the business.“

Daniel Lee commented, “Online pharmacy has now come of age, with 80 per cent of GP surgeries now using the NHS Electronic Prescription Service and patients keen to shop online for health and wellbeing products.

“Increasing numbers of patients are also seeking the support of online doctor services. This merger means that we are in an unrivalled position to respond to the growing demand for these innovative services.“

Chemist Direct was founded in 2007 by pharmacist Krishna Soma and her entrepreneur husband Mitesh Soma in Birmingham. It has over 50 staff and sells over 20,000 products. Pharmacy2U was established in 1999, and was one of the first to pilot the electronic transfer of prescriptions in the UK.

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