Prescription compliance is the name of the game for pharmacies and pharmaceutical companies. Now McKesson Corp.‘s (NYSE: MCK) UK subsidiary, McKesson UK, has entered the arena with its recent acquisition of Echo, an online prescription fulfillment business based there.
Echo’s medicines management app already has an installed customer base, who can order their repeat prescriptions through the app and have them delivered for free. Think Amazon‘s (NASDAQ: AMZN) PillPack, which performs a similar service in the United States.
Echo is also one of three National Health Service (NHS)-approved repeat prescription apps. It was also part of the 2018 NHS Innovation Accelerator program, which fast-tracks new treatments and technologies into the health service.
The company launched in 2016 and employs around 85 people at its headquarters in Acton. CEO Roger Hassan, former COO of Hello Fresh International, was appointed in August 2018 after founding CEO Sai Lakshmi stepped down. Echo’s backers include White Star Capital, MMC Ventures, Rocket Internet’s GFC, Hambro Perks, Public.io and LocalGlobe, according to TechCrunch. No financial terms were disclosed.
McKesson UK also owns LloydsPharmacy, which has more than 1,500 brick-and-mortar pharmacies in the country, as well as an online presence. It has around 17,000 employees and dispenses more than 150 million prescription items annually.
Real deal hounds will recall that McKesson Corp. acquired Lloyds’ parent company, the German drug wholesaler Celesio AG, in October 2013 for approximately $8.4 billion.
For McKesson UK, the Echo acquisition is part of its new digital healthcare strategy, aimed at providing more simple, convenient ways for customers to manage their health online. There are an estimated 29 million people in the UK who need repeat prescriptions, and a growing number of those customers are managing their meds online.