LloydsPharmacy, the second-largest pharmacy chain in the UK behind Boots, is pinning its hopes on a major push into digital healthcare following a “challenging” financial year for parent group McKesson UK and has appointed McCann to devise the new creative strategy to lead the charge.
The move follows McKesson UK’s acquisition of NHS prescription reminder and tracking app Echo, which allows patients to order repeat medication from their GP. McKesson said the purchase was part of a new strategy which will see the retailer provide more convenient ways for customers to manage their health digitally.
McCann beat off competition from Brooklyn Brothers and VCCP for the business and will start work immediately. The appointment does not affect LloydsPharmacy’s existing relationship with agency BeCurious.
McCann Enterprise chief executive Stephen Meade said: “We are delighted to be working with LloydsPharmacy and look forward to creating a campaign that reflects its status as a much-loved brand and part of the fabric of our communities.”
LloydsPharmacy has around 1,500 outlets across the UK, based predominantly in community and health centre locations as well as some Sainsbury’s stores.
Despite witnessing “increased sales year-on-year”, McKesson UK’s recent results showed the group had been “adversely affected by external factors, chief among them being the impact of the NHS drug tariff”.
Adjusted operating profit for its European pharmaceutical solutions division – which comprises LloydsPharmacy, AAH Pharmaceuticals, LloydsPharmacy Clinical Homecare, John Bell & Croyden, MASTA and Online Doctor – came in at $219m (£168m) in 2018-19, a 36% drop compared with the previous year.
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