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CVS introduces delivery for prescriptions

The drugstore chain hopes to beat Amazon at its own game

Photo (c) jetcityimage - Getty Images
CVS Pharmacy announced on Tuesday that next-day prescription delivery is now available from all of its U.S. locations.

Anticipating a move by Amazon into the pharmacy arena, the chain is taking a cue from its original name of “Consumer Value Store” by staking its claim as the first national retailer to offer pharmacy and front store delivery chain-wide.

The drugstore giant’s endgame is the hope that patients are willing to wait for their prescriptions in exchange for the benefit of delivery.

"The national launch of our prescription delivery service, including the expansion of same-day delivery in five new markets, is delivering on our promise to make staying healthy simpler for every patient, regardless of where they live," said Kevin Hourican, President, CVS Pharmacy.

"Through a fully customized digital experience, shoppers are now able to enjoy the convenience of CVS Pharmacy right at their doorstep. The rollout of delivery from nearly all of our 9,800 retail pharmacy locations nationwide represents another step forward for us in delivering innovative omnichannel solutions that help people on their path to better health."

How CVS’ delivery will work

CVS customers can choose the mailbox delivery option via the CVS phone app or by calling their local CVS location. The delivery schedule works like this:

For a $4.99 delivery fee, orders placed:

  • By 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday will be delivered in 1–2 days.

  • By 4 p.m. on Friday will be delivered by Monday

  • By 3 p.m. on Saturday will be delivered by Tuesday

  • After 3 p.m. on Saturday and all-day Sunday will be delivered by Wednesday

Orders can be tracked online or via the CVS app. As with many special offers, there’s also some caveats:

  • No deliveries on Sunday or USPS holidays.

  • Delivery orders are charged at online prices, which may vary from store prices.

  • Coupons, ExtraBucks Rewards, and certain in-store and online promotions are not applicable.

  • Customers must have a credit/debit card on file and may include Flexible Spending Account (FSA) or Health Savings Account (HSA) cards. FSA/HSA cards may not be used for delivery fees.

  • Couriers will deliver a package to customers’ mailbox, doorstep, or other safe place. If none is available, the package will be held at the local post office for up to 15 days.

  • Delivery of non-prescription items is not available from CVS Pharmacy in Target stores.

  • In remote areas, deliveries may arrive as late as 7:30 p.m.

  • Orders that need to be refrigerated arrive Tuesday through Friday.

The company is also offering same-day prescription delivery in New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Miami, and San Francisco for $8.99.

Over and above prescriptions, CVS is also offering popular health and household items typically found at its retail stores such as flu and cold medications, pain relief, and baby items. Available products can also be delivered to residences.

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