Walgreen’s vs. Mail Order

Feb 02, 2004
George Anderson

By George Anderson

A piece in Crain’s Chicago Business says the growth of mail order prescription services could pose a threat to Walgreen’s corner store business model.

Mail order prescriptions represented 18.4% of the drugs sold in the country in 2002, up from 12.7% just five years earlier.

Alice Wachol, a principal at Deloitte Consulting in Detroit, said Walgreen is not alone in its battle for market share with mail-order prescription services.

“Retail pharmacies have been quietly fighting the mail-order battle for a long time,” she said. The mail-order businesses “have an inherent advantage in terms of cost” according
to Ms. Wachol.

Moderator’s Comment: How big will the impact of maintenance drugs prescribed for chronic
conditions have on how the pharmacy business is conducted in the years ahead?

It should be noted, as discussed in this space previously, Walgreen is being pretty aggressive, as are other traditional drugstores, in trying to build
its own mail order business.
Anderson – Moderator

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1 Comment on "Walgreen’s vs. Mail Order"

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Michael Crotty
Michael Crotty
15 years 10 months ago

Mail order prescription will cause several problems that the general public is unaware of: First, if mail order gains hold of the majority of prescriptions written in the US, the retail pharmacies will not be there when you need your emergency meds that are still in the mail. Secondly, there are no requirements for how your prescription must be shipped in terms of care. It could bake in the sun all day, be shaken or dropped and potentially ruin the release mechanism. If you question this, try taking a class in pharmacotherapy and therapeutics. A prime example would be a nitrate medication used to prevent heart attacks in emergency situations. If shaken or stored at “above room temperatures,” it will become ineffective. Now when you or your relative needs that medication when they are on the verge of having a massive myocardial infarction, tell me who was really concerned: mail order or Retail Pharmacy.