If CVS is your pharmacy, getting your medication just got easier.
CVS will begin offering next-day delivery for prescription meds starting in 2018, and some markets will even have the option of same-day delivery. The program will begin in CVS’s Manhattan locations next month (December 4). While delivery certainly makes life easier for everyone, the sick and the elderly stand to benefit greatly from this option.
“Our goal is to the meet the needs of all our customers wherever, however, and whenever they want,” said Helena Foulkes, president of CVS Pharmacy and executive vice president of CVS Health.
CEO Larry Merlo made the announcement during a conference call with analysts, citing a 2.7 percent loss in retail sales (which include prescriptions) in the third quarter, although its pharmacy services business—which offers drug benefits for both employers and insurers—had a significant increase in revenue. This leads most analysts to believe that CVS is worried that Amazon is going to steal its customer base and takeover the pharmaceutical sales industry.
Amazon has recently obtained multiple wholesale pharmacy licenses in 12 states. While the company has made no announcements on its intentions, those licenses will allow Amazon to sell prescriptions online. This news caused stocks for both CVS and Walgreens to fall, as investors worry Amazon will take away the pharmacies’ customers like it has with so many other industries. That’s enough to put CVS on alert, especially when customers are fans of convenience.
Last month it was reported that CVS was in talks to buy Aetna, one of the nation’s largest health insurance providers, which is another indicator that CVS is worried about the potential shakeup in the pharmaceutical industry. While Merlo did not mention this supposed acquisition to analysts, the rumors have been widely reported and are believed to be true.
As for the next-day delivery, CVS has not given any specifics on delivery options, partnerships and fees, but spokespeople for CVS have said that delivery fees will vary depending on location. Deliveries will also include a select offering of store merchandise.