Fearing possible encroachment from Amazon into prescription delivery, CVS will begin offering next-day delivery of both prescriptions and other retail items in major cities in 2018, and same-day service in Manhattan beginning Dec. 4.
“Our goal is to meet the needs of all of our customers wherever, however and whenever they want,” said Helena Foulkes, Executive Vice President, CVS Health in a release. “Providing same and next-day options for delivery of medications is just another way we can help our patients get and stay healthy.”
While Amazon has not said publicly what it plans to do in this area, this year it has acquired several state permits to be a wholesale pharmacy distributor and recently hired drug industry executives, according to the New York Times.
In Manhattan, the same-day service will be available for free within hours throughout the borough. Prescriptions and a curated selection of over-the-counter products will be delivered in secure tamper-proof packaging. CVS said delivery fees in areas outside Manhattan will vary by location. “We’ve been able to use our scale to negotiate low-cost, affordable options for all CVS Pharmacy customers,” CVS spokeswoman Erin Pensa told the Times.
Same-day delivery will expand to Miami, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, DC and San Francisco in early 2018.
At the same time CVS is expanding its partnership with Instacart to offer delivery of food, beauty products and over-the-counter medications from 2,600 locations; the company plans to cover 50% of the U.S. by the end of the year. Shoppers can also place orders online or via an app and pick them up curbside at stores nationwide.