Currently the fastest growing online pharmacy in Europe, Echo by LloydsPharmacy has been helping people order, track and get reminders for their NHS prescriptions since 2015, when it was set up by co-founder and health tech entrepreneur Stephen Bourke. In 2019, Echo joined the McKesson family with 30,000 nominated patients. Today it changes its name to LloydsDirect by LloydsPharmacy, dispensing over 1.2 million packets of medicines a month to support over 500,000 people with their repeat prescriptions.
Benoit Machefer, CEO at LloydsDirect, said:
“When we joined the LloydsPharmacy family, we saw it as a chance to build an even better pharmacy experience. We didn’t want to make people choose between online and their local pharmacy, but instead give them the best of both. Now we are very much part of the LloydsPharmacy ecosystem, delivering the best of digital and community pharmacy direct to over half a million people and we felt our name should better reflect this.”
The name change comes after a period of rapid growth for the distance-selling pharmacy. When the demand for online services rocketed in the first lockdown last March, LloydsDirect responded by building a new fulfilment centre. As a result, revenue grew 800% in 2020 compared to 2019, and the number of colleagues employed by the business has increased by 113%.
Kyle Rowe, Chief Marketing and Digital Officer at McKesson UK said:
“Echo has become a core part of our business as we continue to invest in our omnichannel strategy. By combining the trust of our LloydsPharmacy network, with a robust online service, we have been able to provide our customers and patients with more options to mix and match how they use and interact with LloydsPharmacy services. The new name reflects this ethos and helps to integrate the two businesses as we endeavor to provide a seamless patient experience.”
LloydsDirect began offering their click and collect service in November 2020, giving patients the convenience of managing their medicine, or that of a loved one, online, with the reassurance of support from their local pharmacy team. As well as being able to collect items from over 1,000 LloydsPharmacy branches across England, LloydsDirect patients can now also buy selected over-the-counter items and get them delivered for free along with their medicine.
With more than 500,000 patients now using LloydsDirect, the number of people benefitting from the service has more than doubled in the last year, with a noticeable shift in demographic. In March 2020, 26% of patients joining Echo were 55 years old and above. During the first lock down, that number leapt to 60%, with the median age of joining patients increasing from 41 to 54 years old.
“We’re proud of how we’ve grown and are pleased to see more people embracing digital healthcare services. But we haven’t forgotten where we came from. We built LloydsDirect for our patients and they will always come first. So, as the way in which people access healthcare continues to evolve, so will we – keeping NHS prescriptions simple for everyone whilst helping pharmacy to offer more routine healthcare services. We hope the name change will help strengthen our message – it’s not community pharmacy or online. It’s both – accessed when and how you need them. We’re excited for the future as LloydsDirect and look forward to exploring how else we can use our platform, alongside LloydsPharmacy, to support more patients with their health and wellbeing.”