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Independent community pharmacies have reacted angrily to a recent change in the MyGP app which they believe pushes their patients towards Lloydspharmacy’s ECHO home delivery business. The MyGP app is used by over 6,500 GP practices and allows patients to book a GP appointment; check their medical records; and order repeat prescriptions. According to the MyGP app website patients can have their medication delivered “to a pharmacy of your choice”. Yet the website is now actively promoting the Lloydspharmacy ECHO home delivery service and the app itself has been redesigned to persuade patients to select Echo home delivery service over their nominated pharmacy. We have received reports that patients repeatedly need to click that they do not want the ECHO service before being allowed to nominate their local independent pharmacy, and as a result they are finding it difficult to go directly to selecting their pharmacy of choice. Jeremy Meader, MD of Numark, said… “Numark members have told us they are outraged and that patients deserve a choice and not feel pressured or confused into choosing one particular provider. Lloydspharmacy/ECHO is attempting to get patients to switch from their local independent pharmacy. We believe that the team at a local pharmacy, knowing their patients medication history, can provide on-going, consistent advice and support. At a time when many independent pharmacies are struggling financially, this approach further undermines local pharmacies particularly when those pharmacies are in the frontline of fighting COVID-19. Lloydspharmacy and ECHO are part of the McKesson group including AAH. We believe this approach undermines the invaluable role which independent community pharmacy plays. For our part, Numark will continue to support our members professionally and commercially. We will provide new online solutions to help them grow their business. We propose bringing the matter to the attention of the relevant regulators and seeking their review of the position.”
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