Will Walgreens win the prescription delivery race?
Move over CVS and hold on Amazon.com, Walgreens last week announced a partnership with FedEx on the nationwide launch of a next-day prescription delivery service.
Walgreens will charge $4.99 for the service, called Walgreens Express. Customers must place orders by 4 p.m. on business days for next-day delivery.
Patients sign up to receive text alerts when their prescriptions are ready. They then choose to have the order delivered or pick it up in store through an express line. The Walgreens Express app can also be used to preview the cost of their drugs and prepay.
Separately, Walgreens offers same-day delivery in seven markets, and that program will be expanded in 2019.
Walgreens claims the FedEx partnership makes the chain “the fastest choice for next-day prescription delivery across the nation.”
In June, CVS launched a service whereby the U.S. Postal Service picks up prescriptions at CVS stores and bring them to customers’ homes in one or two days. CVS is also charging $4.99 but Walgreens’ use of FedEx’s air-and-ground delivery network promises to deliver more coverage and speed.
The move by Walgreens also heads off coming competition from Amazon, which bought online pharmacy Pill Pack in June, but the deal has not closed yet. Amazon had attained several state-level permits and made numerous drug industry hires to signal its intention to branch into prescriptions. Kroger and Walmart are also expected to compete in home prescription delivery.
“Next-day prescription home delivery is another convenience-driver, alongside our industry-leading number of extended hours pharmacies and one of the most downloaded digital apps in the category, designed to put care in the hands of our patients,” said Richard Ashworth, Walgreens president of operations, in a statement. “This expansion of our alliance with FedEx illustrates our commitment to making filling prescriptions as fast and easy as possible.”
Walgreens and FedEx have already partnered to let customers pick up and drop off packages at almost 8,000 pharmacies nationwide.
- Walgreens Launches Next-Day, Nationwide Prescription Delivery with FedEx – Walgreens
- CVS Pharmacy Prescription Delivery Now Available from All Locations Nationwide – CVS
- CVS Adds Home Delivery With Help From Post Office – The Wall Street Journal
- Will Amazon’s Pill Pack acquisition disrupt the retail pharmacy business? – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Does Walgreens gain much of an advantage in prescription delivery with its partnership with FedEx? How do you see the battle for drug delivery shaking out, and will it reshape the competitive landscape in the retail pharmacy business?