Mark Livingstone, CEO of Pharmacy 2U, and co-founder of LoveFilm joins us at Business Matters to explain his way of doing business and who he admires.
What do you currently do?
I’m the CEO of Pharmacy2U, which manages repeat prescriptions from request to delivery to help improve patient access to healthcare and ease the strain on the NHS.
The business was set up in 1999 with a heritage in traditional pharmacy but we have grown to become an online-only service on a mission to improve patient outcome in partnership with the NHS.
We take out all the hassle of getting your repeat prescriptions, liaising with your GP, dispensing your medicine and delivering your medication to your door for free. It is not only saving patients time and money travelling from GPs to pharmacies but saving GPs hours in paperwork every week and so saving the NHS vital resource.
What is the inspiration behind your business?
Technology has transformed industries from retail and entertainment to travel and leisure and it is crucial for the lifeblood of the NHS that technology starts to make a much-needed impact on healthcare. We are reinventing a business model that hasn’t changed much since 1734.
My own heritage is in subscription businesses, having previously helped to disrupt the DVD rental industry as a co-founder and CEO of LOVEFiLM and the healthy snack market with Graze.
Almost half of the population have a repeat prescription and we have set out to change the outdated process of going to your GP, then to the pharmacy, queue and produce a paper slip just to be dispensed medicine that you have regularly. The customer deserves more.
What defines your way of doing business?
We are built around helping the customer and making the lives of patients easier. TrustPilot is our daily God, and to be a truly customer centric company you have to listen to what your customers are saying. Every single member of my management team receives every review on the website daily and we’re constantly innovating to continually improve our service which is currently rated as Excellent with over 80,000 reviews making us the best rated health business in the UK at this level of reviews. So, so far it is working and we’re registering over 32,000 new patients every month which is the equivalent of opening an average local pharmacy every 2.5 days.
Who do you admire?
Jeff Bezos is an inspiration. He’s always put the customer in the middle and then figured out a way to run his business around it.
Looking back is there anything you would have done differently
I would have gone faster, quicker. Great business ideas don’t exist in a vacuum and when you have your time you really need to go for it 110% before the competition hots up.
What advice would you give to someone starting out?
“Please” and “thank you” are the most important words in business. Also, if you have the privilege to work with great people always think what you could be doing with them next.