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NPA: It remains to be seen if the Amazon-style home delivery model is ‘sustainable’ for pharmacy in this country

By Isabel Shaw

31 Jan 2020

It remains to be seen whether an Amazon-style home delivery pharmacy model will work for pharmacy in the UK, according to the National Pharmacy Association (NPA).

It comes after the multinational technology giant Amazon appears to be making its way into the UK Pharmacy sector by filing for a UK trademark for the name ‘Amazon Pharmacy,’ 

According to a news report by CNBC, the technology company has applied to use the name for a number of medical products and services.

It follows the company’s acquisition of PillPack, a US online pharmacy, business back in 2018. 

According to PillPack, ‘Amazon Pharmacy’ has filed for trademark applications in the US, Mexico, Canada, Brazil, UK, EU, Turkey, UAE, Egypt, Singapore, China, Japan, Taiwan, India, Australia, and Israel. 

But the difference between the UK and USA health system makes it unknown as to whether an Amazon-style home delivery model would be sustainable in this country, the NPA told The Pharmacist.

Royal Pharmaceutical Society, president Sandra Gidley highlighted the ‘importance and value in the face to face interaction between patients and a pharmacist’ and how this ‘must not be lost’. 

‘I would urge patients and the public to continue to support their community pharmacy so that the service is still there when they need it. Community pharmacy does and will continue to play a vital role within our NHS and we will continue to press for better use to be made of the community pharmacy workforce,’ she added. 

In response to how ‘Amazon Pharmacy’ would be regulated in the UK were it to start trading here, a spokesperson from the General Pharmaceutical Council told The Pharmacist that it would have to go through the same registration process as any other pharmacy, including online pharmacies in Great Britain.

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