CVS on Monday announced that it plans to launch next-day prescription medication delivery nationwide and same-day delivery in select cities starting early next year.
The announcement comes amid speculation that Amazon intends to enter the prescription drug market and deliver drugs directly to consumers' homes. While Amazon has not publicly announced such plans, the organization has obtained permits in several states for wholesale pharmacy distribution.
What CVS is doing
CVS said it will offer no-cost courier delivery "within hours" for prescription drugs and certain over-the-counter products in Manhattan beginning Dec. 4. In 2018, the company will expand same-day delivery to Boston, Miami, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C., and will provide next-day delivery from local stores throughout the country. CVS did not disclose its delivery partner.
Erin Pensa, a spokesperson for CVS, said delivery costs would vary. Helena Foulkes, EVP of CVS Health and president of CVS Pharmacy, did not specify a cost, but she said CVS was able to "use [its] scale to secure a low-cost, competitive option" that the company thinks customers will pay for.
Foulkes in a statement said, "Our goal is to meet the needs of all of our customers wherever, however, and whenever they want." She added that CVS will continue offering in-store pickup.
CVS on Monday reported that retail sales, which includes prescriptions, dropped 2.7% to 42% of overall revenue in the period that ended Sept. 30. Revenue from its pharmacy benefits manager grew 8.1% over the quarter (Johnson, "Wonkblog," Washington Post, 11/6; Terlep, Wall Street Journal, 11/6; Thomas, New York Times, 11/6; Bean, Becker's Hospital Review, 11/6; Herman, Axios, 11/6).
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