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Amazon inspires medical e-commerce site

14 February 2012 - 09:41 by Sarah Collinson

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The popularity of Amazon has not gone unnoticed and now companies operating in other sectors are echoing its platform for safe shopping online.

Sixty-six per cent of all NHS trusts in the UK are now on the books of Peto.co.uk, an online e-commerce site which does not deal in DVDs and books, but medical supplies.

The site went live only a month ago but it has already attracted some big spenders in the NHS because it promises to help trusts reduce the amount they spend on procuring the medical supplies they need to properly treat patients.

Peto.co.uk works by letting suppliers of various medical equipment types, including things as simple as covers for hospital beds, set up their own store front through which the NHS can make safe, secure and, most importantly, cheap purchases.

A million pounds was invested in the creation of Peto and it hopes that by the summer it will be dealing with every single NHS trust in the UK, which equates to about three billion pounds in spending.

The NHS is being pressured into cutting £20 billion from its budgets within two years and, according to The Daily Mail, it will be able to get closer to achieving this target by using safe shopping online.

Julian Trent, the man who helped to found Peto, said that the site could save the NHS half a billion pounds each year, which would be quite a significant contribution to its cost-cutting efforts.

Even the smallest suppliers are able to get onto Peto's platform because you can list up to ten products free of charge. Anything above this will be subject to scalable pricing so that the site is able to support itself and, presumably, make some serious money at the upper end of the scale.