What is the difference between online pharmacies and my local pharmacy?

January 6, 2021
5 minute read

Purchasing products and services online is the norm. Be it groceries, clothes, take away meals or your favourite books. Consumer preferences have changed drastically over the last decade, with many of us preferring the ease and convenience of shopping online.

However, the adoption of online Pharmacies is still in its early stages compared to other categories. There are several reasons as to why people may have been hesitant in the past to make the change.  

  • Trust – many traditional local pharmacies have built up established relationships with their patients over many years and enjoy the comfort that brings. This brings about a reluctance to change the way “they have always done things” and it can be viewed as a “hassle to change".
  • Negative Online Pharmacy Press – unfortunately, there have been some illegitimate online pharmacies that have engaged in selling counterfeit or illegal prescription drugs. This has understandably made some nervous about switching to a digital pharmacy service.
  • “Faceless technology” - the assumption is often made that you wouldn’t be able to speak to a “human pharmacist” for help and advice if you switched to an online pharmacy.

These are common factors echoed by those against the adoption of online pharmacies. We wanted to challenge these assumptions and launch the online pharmacy service of the future. We believe that online pharmacies can be reliable, trustworthy and offer a personalised service.

Phlo’s central aim is to empower our patients to better manage their healthcare.   We do this by combining first-in-class patient care with sophisticated technology that allows our patients to access their medication wherever and whenever they need it.


If you’ve ever picked up a prescription from your local pharmacy, you’ll have likely noticed the process isn’t ideal.

Accessing your medication should never be time-consuming, difficult or frustrating, and it should never be something that you have to worry about. Dealing with stock shortages, standing in queues at the pharmacy, commuting to and from the pharmacy, and discussing your healthcare needs in public are all a daily reality of going to the local pharmacy.

At Phlo, you will never need to worry about this. We’ll take care of transferring your prescriptions, prescribing your medication and our Phlo couriers' will hand-deliver your medication to you, wherever and whenever you need it.  

We keep you updated about the progress of your medication order at every stage through email and in-app alerts. We have even set up handy reminder notifications that prompt you to re-order when we can see you are running low on your medication.

What’s more, our team of friendly and experienced Pharmacists can offer a greater level of guidance and advice, as our patients benefit from increased privacy, and can choose how they wish to talk to us: via text, phone call or e-mail.


Our experienced Pharmacy team ensure that all our patients have a safe and convenient experience when using our service.

Phlo is a fully authorised NHS “Distance Selling” Pharmacy. This means that we have had to adhere to strict rules and regulations set by the UK General Pharmaceutical Council.  

An NHS authorised pharmacy will have a verified pharmacy logo with their registration number displayed. This should also direct you to the GPhC's website to give you the relevant pharmacy details. You should also be able to easily find the details of the Superintendent Pharmacist, who is responsible for the provision of a safe service.  You can find all of these details on our website.

At Phlo we take your safety seriously. We carry out an ID check to verify your identity before you can access our service. We also match your details with your unique Summary Care Record (SCR) to see what medications you take, and what allergies you have. This allows us to provide a safe and reliable service each and every time (similar to your local pharmacy but this time it’s at the palm of your hand with our online pharmacy). Furthermore, your personal data is protected with strict data handling policies setting industry leading practices to ensure all personal data is safe and secure with Phlo.

Patient Care

Providing first-class patient care is our number one priority at Phlo and it’s what we are known for. Our team of Pharmacists are on hand if you ever have a query or question about your prescription via live-chat, email and telephone. With a dedicated Pharmacy team running our patient care team you will always get the opportunity to speak to a Pharmacist as and when required.

Our Head of Patient Care Prabhjit Jassal

We love hearing from our patients, and much like your local Pharmacy, our team love to build relationships with our patients. Many people have a misconception that online pharmacies are “faceless” and we strive to ensure that is never the case at Phlo.  

We’re immensely proud of the 5-star ratings we have received across the board on Trustpilot for the gold standard of patient care that Phlo provides.  

Our Real-Time, Same-Day Delivery Service

What sets Phlo apart from other online and retail Pharmacies is our real-time, same-day delivery service that we currently offer in London and Birmingham. This enables our patients to order and receive their medication on the very same day, at their convenience, within a 4-hour time slot of their choosing.

What’s more, our live tracking feature enables our patients to track their medication on the live map, as it travels to their doorstep. This way, patients can anticipate exactly when their order will arrive.

Our sights are now set on bringing our real-time, same-day delivery service to other major cities across England in 2021 and beyond.

Switching to Phlo: One Small Change Can Make a Big Difference

At the core of Phlo is our vision of making healthcare ‘flow’ around your day.

Our aim is  to offer  a service that seamlessly integrates with your day-to-day life and removes any barriers that stand in the way of you focusing on what’s important – while still allowing you to stay on top of your healthcare.  

Switching to Phlo means more than just getting your medication delivered. It also means saving a considerable amount of time and avoiding the hassle and stress associated with going to the local pharmacy.  

One small change can make a big difference. We invite you to switch to Phlo today and experience what the future of pharmacy has to offer you and your family.

Content last reviewed on:
September 19, 2023
Next review date:
September 19, 2024
Further reading
Patient receiving delivery from Phlo

Join our pharmacy revolution

There’s no better time to become part of the Phlo community. Take control of your medication management and join the 1,000s of patients we’ve helped safely manage their medication.

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