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Royal Mail launches same-day delivery for medication and healthcare products

Royal Mail is launching same-day deliveries for some Pharmacy2U medication and healthcare products – initially via the Chemist Direct brand – in an initial trial in Yorkshire.

Royal Mail research reveals that since the start of the pandemic 4.3 million adults across the UK have ordered medication online to be delivered to their homes for the first time. The company announced it was working with Echo, LloydsPharmacy’s online NHS prescription service to trial faster deliveries of prescriptions to a selection of residents in London and the south east in March to eventually offer a same-day service for urgent medication.

Royal Mail’s study showed that around 39% of those who ordered medication online to be delivered by post in the past 12 months did so for the first time. One in eight adults (12%) currently have medication regularly delivered in the post and a further 9% have previously had medication delivered through the post. Of these people, 57% currently receive prescription medicine compared to 43% currently receiving non-prescription medicine. Four in five (81%) of these prescriptions are repeat.

The main reasons for people getting medication delivered include: for ease and convenience (59%), to avoid making journeys to the pharmacy (37%) and to avoid the risk of infection from COVID-19 (24%). Other drivers include to avoid queueing in the pharmacy and due to shielding.

Looking ahead, just under a quarter (22%) of UK adults would be likely to order any type of medication online to be delivered in the post in the next year. Of these, three in five (59%) would be likely to use a same-day delivery service for medication.

In the coming months, Royal Mail and Pharmacy2U will extend their partnership to continue improving the patient experience and innovate in the delivery space.

Mark Livingstone, CEO at Pharmacy2U, said: “The Coronavirus pandemic has shifted people’s behaviours drastically and brought forward digital uptake for many. At Pharmacy2U we are doing all we can to remain at the forefront of consumer demand and bringing medicines straight to your front door is part of that. Through this partnership with Royal Mail, we’re hopeful that repeat prescriptions will become even more accessible and it will lead to more people adhering to their doctor’s orders.”

Nick Landon, chief commercial officer at Royal Mail, said: “We’re working with Pharmacy2U to deliver medicines on the same day they are ordered and look forward to significantly expanding this service in the future. The last year has reset many of our expectations for delivery and coupled with the convenience of home delivery, no queues and a reduced risk of infection we think this service is just what the doctor ordered.”

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