The rise of the online pharmacy

Following the outbreak of Covid-19, the emerging online pharmacy industry has observed an exponential spike in popularity and rise in demand. The pandemic has created an environment in which consumers are experiencing significant anxiety about not only the threat of Covid-19 but a heightened awareness of their overall health & wellbeing. With anxiety about leaving homes unnecessarily and physical contact with others still very much present, consumers were also faced with the secondary challenge associated with a temporary pause on traditional channels for seeking either medical treatment or testing, leaving many people in a hugely challenging position.

This combination of factors has resulted in significant numbers of people turning to technology and exploring new avenues and means for looking after their health, one such means being the online pharmacy industry.

With companies including Well having to temporarily pause new customer requests in order to cope with this rise in demand, the industry has undoubtedly observed a marked growth in popularity in recent months and now faces an interesting challenge in terms of consolidating this initial success.

We shine a spotlight on some of the industry’s leading players:

Well Pharmacy:

The UK’s largest independent pharmacy brand, Well is second in the overall rankings only to Boots and Lloyds Pharmacy UK. Combining over 750 physical stores with their new online subscription service, Well are in a strong position to continue to service an increase in demand post-pandemic.

As well as their leading online subscription service, Well’s pharmacies also feature 24/7 prescription pick-up machines meaning customers can collect their medicine at any time that is convenient, underpinned by a text notification service that informs users when their prescription is ready.

Simple Online Pharmacy:

Simple Online Pharmacy offer an end-to-end service, encompassing everything from requesting prescriptions from GPs through to arranging home delivery for its customers. Following delivery, the business looks to make things as easy as possible for its users, tracking when their next prescription is due and requesting it from their GP on their behalf.

Through partnerships with a wide range of trusted and registered MHRA drug wholesalers, the pharmacy is able to offer a best price guarantee and commit to offering lower prices than any other online pharmacy or doctor in the UK.


The fastest growing online pharmacy in the UK and an offshoot of Lloyd’s, Echo have access to over 10,000 collection points around the UK as well as its leading home delivery service. In just two simple steps users can download the Echo app, input the name of their local GP and which medicine they need, and Echo will do the rest.

Offering both online delivery and an easy-to-use app – Echo’s interface provides users with helpful reminders not only to take their medication but also when they need to re-order as well as a tracking service so users can keep an eye on exactly where their prescription is up to.

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