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LloydsPharmacy’s parent company buys repeat prescription app

McKesson UK has become the latest to invest in online repeat prescription technology, following Boots, Co-op and Well Pharmacy.

LloydsPharmacy’s parent company, McKesson UK, has bought the online repeat prescription app ‘Echo’ — one of several pharmacy apps now on the NHS Digital app library.

In a statement, McKesson UK said the acquisition reflects its overall digital healthcare strategy which aims to provide “more simple convenient ways” for customers to manage their health online.

It added that Echo has its own customer base and the technology to fulfil “thousands of repeat prescriptions every week”. 

It said that McKesson UK will be evaluating “the opportunities for Echo and LloydsPharmacy to work together closely, share expertise, accelerate development and continue to improve our customer experience.”

Toby Anderson, chief executive of McKesson UK, said: “The world of healthcare is changing and a big part of that is the growth in online health apps. With our existing customer-base and Echo’s tech, we can help people to take more control over how they manage their health online.”

The acquisition was described as “exciting” by Roger Hason, chief executive of Echo.

“We set out with the mission of making prescription management easier and more convenient for customers,” he said. “By working with McKesson and LloydsPharmacy, we will be able to grow our business and achieve that goal even faster.”

The price McKesson paid for Echo has not been disclosed.

The announcement comes a month after Boots launched a new online repeat prescription service via its existing app and website, which will be linked to a patient’s GP record from July 2019.

Boots bought tech company Wiggly Amps in December 2018 for an undisclosed sum to boost its online provision.

Meanwhile, in September 2018, the Co-op announced that it was returning to the pharmacy sector with the purchase of the repeat prescription app Dimec.

And, in January 2019, Well Pharmacy revealed that it had signed up more than 25,000 patients to its online NHS prescription service, which was launched in July 2018.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2019.20206701

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