CVS Pharmacy is upping its game online for speeding up prescription delivery.
In December, CVS, which operates 9.800 pharmacies nationwide, rolled out same-day presecription delivery in New York. That service has now been extended to Boston, Miami, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Washington, DC. In these cities, customers have the option to choose same-day delivery for a one-time cost of $8.99. All orders placed by 4:00 pm local time are delivered within hours, by 8:00 pm Monday through Friday. On Saturday and Sunday, orders received by 11:00 am are delivered by 4:00 pm, CVS says.
CVS Pharmacy, the retail pharmacy division of CVS Health, also is rolling out additional delivery options for its stores and mobile app. CVS Pharmacy customers nationally can now opt to have their prescriptions delivered to their home, rather than going to the store to pick them up. Customers can place orders for 1- to 2-day prescription delivery service through the CVS app or by calling their local CVS store. The delivery service charge is $4.99.
Along with eligible prescriptions, cold and flu remedies, allergy medications, pain relief, first aid, digestive health, vitamins, baby, personal and feminine care products, are also available to add to delivery orders, CVS says.
“The national launch of our prescription delivery service, including the expansion of same-day delivery in five new markets, is delivering on our promise to make staying healthy simpler for every patient, regardless of where they live,” says CVS Pharmacy president Kevin Hourican.
CVS claims to be the first national chain retailer to offer “pharmacy and front store delivery.”
“Through a fully customized digital experience, shoppers are now able to enjoy the convenience of CVS Pharmacy right at their doorstep,” Hourican says.
Walgreen Co. has yet to say if or when it will match the new delivery options from CVS. Currently prescriptions for home delivery are filled by AllianceRx Walgreens Prime, a combined specialty and home delivery pharmacy, but customers must be a member of a participating insurance company.
CVS, which is moving forward with its planned acquisition of health payer Aetna for about $67.5 billion and absorbing about $10 billion in Aetna’s debt, is rolling out expedited delivery to keep up with more consumer-friendly delivery options from e-commerce startups such as PillPack Inc. in Manchester, NH.
PillPack manages multiple prescription medications for customers by pre-sorting, packaging and delivering the drugs—all with a 24/7 pharmacy staff that can be contacted either online or via phone. Every two weeks, customers receive a personalized package containing pre-sorted medications, along with a recyclable dispenser and any other medications that cannot be placed into packets, like liquids and inhalers. Each shipment includes a medication label that explains what each pill is and how it should be taken.
In addition to pre-sorting medications, PillPack coordinates refills and guarantees all medications will ship on time. Online tools allow customers to track their shipments, refills and co-pays. CVS, Walgreens and others, including Amazon, are building digital healthcare services that aim to give consumers one-stop healthcare shopping opportunities, says Arun Ghosh, principal at advisory firm KPMG LLC. “Pharmacies need to capture the consumer online and offline at the point of sale,” he says.
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