CVS preparing to delivery prescriptions to customers nationwide

Taking the home-delivery revolution in a new direction, CVS Pharmacy said Tuesday that it is launching a service that will bring prescriptions to customers’ doors nationwide. Through the service, customers will...

Taking the home-delivery revolution in a new direction, CVS Pharmacy said Tuesday that it is launching a service that will bring prescriptions to customers’ doors nationwide.

Through the service, customers will be able to get their medications as soon as the next day instead of going to the store to pick them up. The delivery charge is $4.99.

CVS isn’t alone in offering the service. Walgreen’s offers prescription delivery for $19.95 with items “usually” arriving “one business day after processing,” according to the chain’s website.

But the moves show that the effects of online shopping are reaching deeper into specialized areas of traditional retailing.

As more people turn to online shopping for everything from clothes to furniture, traditional stores are making it easier for customers to order online. The Amazons of the world — along with the growing number of grocery delivery services, like Shipt and Postmates — paved the way in showing consumers how easy can be to have items brought to their doorsteps quickly.

Almost 10% of the more than $1.3 trillion in total retail sales in the first quarter of 2018 came from e-commerce, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. That’s up 16.4 percent from the same period in 2017.

CVS customers can make the home-delivery request using the pharmacy app or by calling their local store. Plus, they can add other health items to their tabs, like cold and flu remedies, allergy medications, first-aid items, vitamins and feminine hygiene products, according to the company, the retail division of CVS Health.

Not all prescriptions can be delivered, though. Exclusions include controlled substances, Medicare Part B items and drugs that must be refrigerated, spokeswoman Amy Lanctot said.

In some cities, delivery will be even faster.

CVS began same-day prescription delivery in New York City last year and now is expanding that program to Boston, Miami, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. The speedier service gets medications in customers’ hands by 8 p.m. on weekdays, if they place their orders by 4 p.m., and by 4 p.m. on weekends for requests made by 11 a.m. The cost is $8.99.

In a statement, CVS Pharmacy president Kevin Hourican called the national delivery launch a way to deliver “on our promise to make staying healthy simpler for every patient, regardless of where they live.”

Customers don’t have to be home to accept one- and two-day delivery orders, but they do have to be present for same-day delivery. Orders come in tamper-evident packaging, which doesn’t indicate that medications are inside.

Though there has been talk, it is still unclear whether Amazon will get into the prescription-drug business.

Source: Zlati Meyer, USA TODAY

Photo Credit: Media Group Online

Photo Credit: ASweetLife

Photo Credit: Yelp

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