CVS Health is actually rolling out delivery for prescription drugs — before Amazon.
Customers will appreciate which, CVS believes, although which’s clear the move is actually an attempt to stay ahead of Amazon. The e-commerce giant’s possible entry into the space has kept drugstores on edge, although which’s inaction so far has given them time to prepare.
Customers in most markets where CVS’ nearly 10,000 stores are located will be able to receive their orders either one or two days after placing them. Some customers in urban markets will be able to receive orders the same day.
Amazon has already strained retailers with its free two-day shipping along with also is actually at This specific point eyeing the prescription drug market. CVS’ program will be a test of whether patients are willing to wait for their medicines in exchange for the convenience of delivery.
“The rollout of delivery via nearly all of our 9,800 retail pharmacy locations nationwide represents another step forward for us in delivering innovative omnichannel solutions which help people on their path to better health,” CVS Pharmacy’s president, Kevin Hourican, said in a statement.
Patients hoping to use CVS’ delivery will need to be patient along with also pay for the convenience. To have their orders filled along with also delivered in one or two days, CVS will charge $4.99. For same-day delivery, the company will charge $8.99.
CVS introduced same-day delivery to fresh York City at the end of last year. which’s at This specific point expanding which to Boston, Miami, Philadelphia, San Francisco along with also Washington, D.C.
Customers can place their orders online, through the drugstore’s app or over the phone, along with also can add over-the-counter products like cold along with also flu medicines, vitamins along with also baby or feminine care products.
This specific bundled approach could help CVS counteract declines in traffic as people avoid brick-along with also-mortar stores along with also opt to instead buy their goods online, often at less expensive prices. CVS’ so-called front-of-store sales, which include everything via shampoo to greeting cards, has been declining.
CVS could even find a sweet spot in over-the-counter medicines. So far, consumers haven’t been buying medicines as much online as they have with different household items. People tend to wait until they’re sick along with also need something instead of stocking up in advance.
CVS will ship the products through the U.S. Postal Service, which can leave them at customers’ homes even if they’re not there.
CNBC has reported which Amazon may enter the prescription drug market. The possibility has weighed on drugstore stocks, including CVS along with also rivals Walgreens Boots Alliance along with also Rite Aid. The e-commerce giant already sells private label over-the-counter drugs through a partnership with Perrigo, along with also has obtained pharmacy licenses in a handful of states. Amazon has licenses to distribute medical devices in nearly all U.S. states.
Amazon has not appeared to crack the code on prescription drugs quite yet. CNBC reported in April the company had shelved a plan to sell drugs directly to hospitals through its Amazon Business unit. Investors in drugstore stocks welcomed the news, easing up on some of the pressure they faced.
Amazon also is actually partnering with Berkshire Hathaway along with also J.P. Morgan Chase to form a fresh health-care venture aimed at lowering the cost of its employee health benefits.
CVS is actually also undergoing its own evolution. Late last year, which announced a $69 billion deal to merge with health insurer Aetna.