Rising Star: Daniel Lee of Pharmacy 2U

Daniel Lee is the MD of Pharmacy 2U, the first mail-order and online pharmacy retailer in the UK. With turnover of £12 million, the company is seeking greater heights in the year ahead, as Lee tells GrowthBusiness.

What’s your ambition?

It’s a £10 billion market and there are 650 million pieces of paper flying around the NHS. The government has adopted our system and will be rolling it out at the end of the year.

When was the eureka moment?

Mail order exists in other parts of the world and it got me thinking about how to do it in the UK. When we launched, the service was illegal – you couldn’t actually send medicine through the post. We overturned regulations that had been in place for 40 years.

How did you arrange funding?

Between 2000 and 2003 we raised £5 million. The opportunity for the market is so big that our investors were always excited and supportive. In the US and Scandinavia, mail and online ordering accounts for 15 per cent of the prescriptions market. It doesn’t happen over here at all. That potential is huge.

Describe your darkest hour.

We were supposed to roll out a national government scheme in 2004/5, but that didn’t happen as the project was scrapped. We thought that would fundamentally affect the business, but we have managed to work around it.

What’s the exit strategy?

At this stage, I don’t think we’ve achieved anywhere near the growth we can. Our shareholders are quite happy to see it through.


Marc Barber

Marc Barber

Marc was editor of GrowthBusiness from 2006 to 2010. He specialised in writing about entrepreneurs, private equity and venture capital, mid-market M&A, small caps and high-growth businesses.

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