CVS said Tuesday it will become the first national drugstore chain to offer pharmacy and front store delivery from 9,800 locations across the nation. The company said in a press release that deliveries could arrive as quickly as the next day.
Customers can place orders for the one to two-day prescription delivery service by calling their local pharmacy or via the CVS Pharmacy app, with the option of adding over-the-counter and front store products to their home order.
The move is an expansion of same-day prescription delivery launched in New York City at the end of last year. New markets include Boston, Miami, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C.
Amazon’s recent forays into the healthcare sphere may have spurred the decision as the e-commerce giant flirts with entering the prescription drug market and replace outdated supply-chain options in a potential industry disruption.
Last December, Amazon pulled back its pharmacy wholesaler application in Maine, a decision that analysts pegged as a positive for pharmacies and the drug supply chain at the time.
CVS' move also comes in the midst of its bid to buy Aetna for $69 billion, a merger that would make the combined company one of the few players with a significant market share in both the pharmacy and healthcare insurance industries. The vertical merger is still pending regulatory approval.
At the same time, CVS is attempting to increase customer service by providing more options in the space — tying in with company goals to create new framework for population health management and combine data-driven insights with retail-based care.
CVS will charge $4.99 per delivery and consumers can order by calling their local pharmacy or via the CVS Pharmacy app. Over-the-counter and a selection of store items will also be available for home delivery.