Pharmacy operator and health & beauty retailer Lloydspharmacy has acquired the online doctor service DrThom.com, it was revealed today.
Lloydspharmacy previously owned a 33 per cent share in the medical advice business and has run its own Online Doctor service in conjunction with the site since 2008.
The purchase price was not disclosed but the move will significantly strengthen the chain’s presence in a growing market, with the Future Foundation predicting in 2009 that 37 per cent of people will use the web for medical advice by 2020.
CEO of retailer feelunique.com Aaron Chatterley argued, in an interview with Retail Gazette last year, that the potential for online growth in the health & beauty sector is currently huge.
Tony Page, Lloydspharmacy Managing Director, said: “Our Online Doctor service has been very successful. Patients love the service - it’s a rapidly growing area of our business.
“We know there is increasing demand from customers for online healthcare; whether they feel more comfortable in an online environment or prefer the convenience over a face to face appointment.”
Founder of the site Dr Thom Van Every will remain with Lloydspharmacy as its Director of Medical Services as part of the agreement.
DrThom profits from a growing number of patients seeking online anonymity when looking for medical advice on sensitive or potentially embarrassing ailments.
Page continued: “It can reach people who may normally avoid seeking advice, thereby playing an important role in improving people’s health and quality of life.
“The potential for the future is very exciting with real scope to grow and cover other areas of medicine - watch this space.”