The merger of the two online pharmacies was backed by £10m of investment from the Business Growth Fund (BGF) to create what the new company describes as “a combined business which is the clear, digital-only leader in the UK online pharmacy sector, with a customer base of 1.5m”.
ChemistDirect.co.uk operates from a registered pharmacy premises on the Junction 2 Industrial Estate in Oldbury. It is one of the UK’s largest online retailers of pharmacy medications, specialist skincare products, everyday essential toiletries, vitamins, supplements and even a dedicated range of pet products.
Its popularity grew rapidly as it enabled shoppers to browse a larger range of products than the average high street pharmacy whilst being able to fulfil prescriptions via a team of GPhC registered pharmacists from the convenience of the home.
Pharmacy2U is based in Leeds and opened a £3.5m dispensing hub there earlier this year, capable of dispensing one million prescription items a month. Established in 1999, Pharmacy2U founded online pharmacy in the UK and is now the largest NHS-contracted pharmacy.
As well as being an online pharmacy and stocking a wide range of over-the-counter products Pharmacy2U offers an online doctor service, providing confidential GP consultations.
ChemistDirect.co.uk chief executive Mark Livingstone will become the chief executive of the new combined business. He has previously worked for innovative internet-based businesses including LoveFilm and Graze.com. Founder and superintendent pharmacist of Pharmacy2U Daniel Lee will take the role of chief operating officer.
Both websites will continue to run as normal following the merger, enabling patients to continue to order repeat prescriptions and retail pharmacy products in the same way as before. The new company has plans to introduce even more products and services to grow the business further.