Online pharmacy Echo has partnered with Royal Mail to trial faster prescription deliveries, which could see it offer a same-day delivery service, the two companies have announced.

The new initiative will begin by serving approximately 200 residents per day in London and the south east at no extra cost, a spokesperson for LloydsPharmacy, which owns Echo, told the Pharmacist.

The service, which will run for two to three months, enables prescriptions fulfilled the night before to be handed over to Royal Mail in the early hours of the morning and be delivered to the customer later in the day.

‘We are launching this with Royal Mail as a trial offer to some patients, so that we can understand whether this is something Echo and Royal Mail could continue to offer in the future,’ the LloydsPharmacy spokesperson said.

As it stands, orders received at night by Echo by LloydsPharmacy are dispatched the following day and delivered to the customer the day after that.

According to Echo and Royal Mail, the new service could reduce patient waiting time by over a day and ‘paves the way for a same day prescription delivery service covering morning orders for urgent medication’.

Benoit Machefer, CEO at Echo by LloydsPharmacy said Echo is on a mission to ‘simplify pharmacy’.

He added: ‘We want to ensure that patients always have a simple and reliable way to get hold of their medicine.’

Nick Landon, chief commercial officer at Royal Mail, said: ‘Royal Mail has already played a crucial role in the fast delivery and collection of millions of test kits to help in the nation’s fight against the Coronavirus pandemic. The faster delivery of medicines is another example of how we are supporting customers – especially those who aren’t able to leave their homes.’