Date of prep: December 2020
Prescribing information and
adverse events reporting
For healthcare professionals only
The pharmacy owner is concerned about what has happened and reinstates the delivery service. However, he also decides to levy a charge on deliveries from the pharmacy.
A charge of £4 per delivery is to be levied. He also comes up with a monthly subscription model of £6 per month for unlimited deliveries. This service is made available for patients living within a 10 miles radius.
Is it fair to charge for medication deliveries?
In terms of pricing tell us your view on the pharmacy owner’s new charging structure.
“It is arbitrary and does not take into account people’s personal circumstances. It makes sense from a business perspective but the business is healthcare, therefore, the welfare of the person being provided with the service should be considered further.”
“Unable to comment.”
“Good. Saving if subscription bought and this will help cover fuel costs and drivers wages.”
“It’s a token charge which may stop patients expecting everything to be delivered and patients who don’t really need a delivery. The charge above does not cover the Pharmacists costs.”
“Reasonable, but honestly don’t know what supermarkets charge.”
“The delivery fee seems reasonable. I think it is fair to charge unless the patient is unable to get their medication any other way.”
“I think the pricing is very fair in the pharmacy’s I know that are charging, with the pharmacy’s certainly not getting any financial gain from the charge, I doubt actually if it is covering the whole cost price of delivery.”
“Fair. Pharmacy contractors do not get reimbursed for deliveries.”
“It seems reasonable and would not exploit patients who require weekly deliveries.”
“£1/delivery would cut out non-essential deliveries.”
“£6 for unlimited is a hornet’s nest. This will be unviable.”
“Don’t know how he’s come up with that price but from what I’ve heard adding cost of pharmacy staff and delivery driver + fuel + car etc, it costs this pharmacy £2.75 per delivery. So essentially if a patient missed 3 deliveries because they were at the bingo, it cost that pharmacy £2.75×3.”
“Compares well with other delivery charges.”
“Seems reasonable but I would question as to whether it covers the costs.”
“Fair to charge but if Amazon etc offering free delivery then it is a backward step for CP to charge.”
“£6 per month for unlimited deliveries is unsustainable and likely to lead to increased requests for multiple deliveries.”
“Seems a little steep, but I would offer to do it at cost and calculate a fair price.”
How far away from the pharmacy should a delivery service cover?
“Depends on the geographical location in relation to other pharmacies.”
“Depends on whether urban, rural and other pharmacy cover.”
“Depending on where the pharmacy is located. A small town may cover surrounding villages but a large city may only cover part of that city.”
“Within the local community, too variable to put mileage on it.”
“Depends on the location. In a busy town centre, the traffic levels would mean that deliveries would need to be within a smaller radius. There wouldn’t be time to travel further afield. In a more rural location, a wider radius would be ok.”
“That very much depends on the patient’s needs.”
“Depends on location.”
“What’s the nearest surgery’s boundaries?”
“More than 1 km.”
“Within 3-5 miles. Maybe if someone is farther away they should go to another pharmacy. People can now register with a doctor out of the area but when they do so they will be reminded that there will be no call outs for them as they are too far away.”
“Up to date business to decide.”
“Depends on the location, town versus rural and the spread of the population from the surgeries involved.”
“No set distance.”
“That would depend on the situation of the pharmacy, We cover our town only, a range of about 5 miles.”
“5 miles urban areas, possibly more in rural areas.”
“Depends on how far patients live from the nearest pharmacy and availability of public transport.”
“10 miles seems fair.”
“Difficult to put an exact number on this but at a minimum, it should deliver to all homes in the catchment area of the local GP practices that the pharmacy collects scripts from.”
“Up to owner.”
Pharmacy in Practice is a UK pharmacy publication with its roots in Scotland.