Partnership gives a free Lyft to pharmacy customers
Two of the biggest names in pharmacy are partnering with an insurance company and a ride sharing startup, not to bring medicine to people who need it, but to bring people to their medicine.
CVS and Walgreens are each piloting programs that will allow people in some markets with participating Blue Cross/Blue Shield insurance coverage to get free Lyft rides to stores, according to Forbes. CVS will cover the cost of Lyft rides to their pharmacies for qualifying members who live in specific transportation deserts in Pittsburgh, and Walgreens will do the same for those in some similarly underserved parts of Chicago. CVS stated that the move is meant to improve health outcomes by giving people access to pharmacies. Walgreens likewise said the move will bring greater accessibility to populations in need.
Bringing people in may lead to more sales throughout the store, addressing a loss of potential impulse buys that retailers inevitably encounter when offering delivery (or even curbside pickup).
Big players in pharmacy, especially CVS, have made other high-profile service upgrades in the past few years. On one level, new offerings like free next-day prescription delivery seem targeted at closing gaps in the healthcare system and promoting customer health. But they also serve to prepare for an eventual encroachment of Amazon.com into the prescription drug arena.
CVS has also taken stances on health-related social issues. The chain stopped selling tobacco in 2014 and, more recently, it delisted low-SPF sunscreens and foods containing trans-fats and moved its candy aisle. The chain also announced a store redesign with an expanded selection of healthy products.
- CVS And Walgreens Partner With Lyft To Get Blue Cross Patients To Pharmacies – Forbes
- As Amazon looms, CVS rolls out next-day Rx deliveries – RetailWire
- Has CVS gone too far with its health kick? – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: As more retailers move into healthcare, does it make sense for them to leverage companies like Lyft to provide these types of services? Does this pilot provide more opportunities for retailers than delivery?