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Pharmacy2U denied access to NPA members’ details


Pharmacy2U denied access to NPA members’ details

The National Pharmacy Association (NPA) has seen off a challenge by Pharmacy2U in the high court to supply the online pharmacy with the names and contact details of more than 3,000 of its members.

Pharmacy2U brought legal proceedings against the NPA after the organisation had distributed a leaflet to its members outlining what it said were “important facts” about Pharmacy2U such as its presence as a distance-selling (internet only) pharmacy which is based on an industrial estate and provides no opportunity for face-to-face care.

The leaflet also mentioned the £130,000 fine handed to Pharmacy2U in October 2015 for selling patients’ details to marketing companies.

Pharmacy2U brought high court proceedings in an attempt to compel the NPA to hand over the names and addresses of members who received the leaflet.

The NPA claimed Pharmacy2U had threatened to sue it for defamation, malicious falsehood and trademark infringement for using the name Pharmacy2U in the leaflet.

“(Pharmacy2U) demanded the NPA disclose the names and contact details of every NPA member who had received the leaflet and also sought a retraction and public apology, using wording P2U prepared themselves,” the NPA said.

Although the body conceded Pharmacy2U had “not disputed the truth of the statements in the leaflet,” it said Pharmacy2U saw the leaflet’s “primary purpose” as being “to disparage” its services.

“P2U said the leaflet was an attempt to rubbish the value of (P2U’s) brand and divert business away from (P2U) to (NPA’s) members,” the NPA said.

The court said there was a risk that Pharmacy2U could use the contact details of NPA members to threaten and intimidate them.

When contacted by ICP, Pharmacy2U did not comment.

Reacting to the judgment, the NPA said: “The court has seen this for what it is, a completely unjustified and unreasonable attempt to obtain details of our members in order to intimidate them.

“We are confident there is no trademark infringement case to answer either. If P2U think otherwise they should challenge us and not our members, who we will defend to the hilt.

“Online pharmacies have a place within the health sector and we have a significant number within our membership, but all pharmacies must behave appropriately irrespective of their business model.

“Ultimately this is about patient choice and ensuring people have access to information that enables them to make an informed choice about their healthcare.”

The NPA said it did not know if Pharmacy2U would pursue the trademark infringement issue.



(Picture: BrasilNut1 - iStock)

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