As Amazon looms, CVS rolls out next-day Rx deliveries nationwide
CVS Pharmacy plans to begin offering free, next-day delivery of prescription drugs nationwide beginning early next year as well as same-day service in select cities beginning next month. The move is seen by many as a way for CVS to head off a rumored entry by Amazon.com into the prescription drug business.
“Our goal is to meet the needs of all of our customers wherever, however and whenever they want,” said Helena Foulkes, president, CVS Pharmacy, in a statement. “Providing same and next-day options for delivery of medications is just another way we can help our patients get and stay healthy.”
CVS will launch its same-day service in Manhattan on Dec. 4 with plans to roll out in Boston, Miami, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Washington, DC early in 2018. The drugstore chain will deliver prescription medications as well as a curated selection of over-the-counter remedies to customers in “secure tamper-proof packaging” to assure customer privacy.
“People living and working in Manhattan have busy lives and there are days when they don’t even have time to run down the street to their pharmacy to pick up a prescription,” said Ms. Foulkes. “Same-day prescription delivery gives customers the easy option of having the pharmacy they trust deliver right to their front door at no cost.”
The chain also announced that it continues to expand its relationship with Instacart, which offers personal shopping of non-prescription products from 2,600 of its 9,700 stores. Plans call for the service to be in place to reach half of all U.S. households by the end of 2017.
Shoppers also have the option to purchase products online and pick them up at participating locations across the country within an hour of delivery using the CVS Curbside app.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch recently reported that Amazon has received approval for wholesale pharmacy licenses in nearly a dozen states. Amazon moving into that business either through acquisition or from the ground up would put the e-tailer in direct competition with CVS’s Caremark pharmacy benefit manager business.
- CVS Pharmacy to Bring Prescriptions Right to Customers’ Doors with Nationwide Next-Day Delivery and Same-Day Delivery in Select Markets – CVS Pharmacy
- What would acquiring Aetna mean for CVS retail? – RetailWire
- Amazon gains wholesale pharmacy licenses in multiple states – St. Louis Post-Dispatch
- Is the $400B prescription drug business ripe for an Amazon disruption? – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What impact will free next-day and same-day delivery of prescription drugs have on CVS’s pharmacy and front end business? What will it mean for rival pharmacies and as a defense against Amazon?