CVS Health will now deliver prescriptions to your home

CVS Health will make prescription deliveries nationwide to accommodate the heightened expectations of convenience from consumers.

The nation’s second-largest drugstore chain says it also will make home deliveries of other items, like allergy medicines, vitamins or household products. 

The service will cost $4.99 for deliveries made in one or two days.

The drugstore chain said Tuesday that it’s expanding same-day deliveries, for a higher fee, to Boston, Miami, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Washington, DC. It began those deliveries in New York late last year.

CVS Health is making prescription deliveries available from its stores nationwide, as retailers continue to adjust to a growing threat from the online giant Amazon (file image)

Drugstores and other retailers have been pushing more customer-friendly services in recent years to hold Amazon at bay. 

The online retailer offers members same-day deliveries of goods typically sold in drugstores in some places.

Amazon’s previous plans to enter the pharmaceutical market were retracted back in April, resulting in an immediate uptick in stock prices for CVS and its direct competitors.

Its announcement today puts CVS ahead of those other chains, including Walmart and Walgreens. 

Many experts have argued that telemedicine and deliveries – and they convenience they offer – could play pivotal roles in the improvement of Americans’ health by giving them better, cheaper faster access to care and treatment. 

A 2016 study found that stroke survivors were significantly more likely to take their medications if the pills got delivered to their doors than if they had to go pick them up from a physical location. 

As the American population ages – becoming less mobile and in greater need of medications – home-delivered prescriptions may become increasingly important to public health in the US. 

Its new plan positions CVS well to profit from this need.  

CVS Health runs more than 9,800 retail locations nationwide, including pharmacies inside Target stores. 

The company started a curbside pick-up service a few years ago, and it was already offering deliveries from about 1,600 locations.

CVS also processes more than a billion prescriptions annually as a pharmacy benefits manager, or PBM, and it provides mail-order deliver through that business. But a company representative has said the delivery service would be a faster alternative and have a wider reach than mail-order.

The drugstore chain has tried to position itself as more of a health care provider. Last December, it said it would buy the nation’s third-largest health insurer, Aetna Inc, for about $69 billion.

CVS Health Corp plans to expand the services it offers through its stores, deliver more care at home and get more involved in helping customers with things like staying on their medicines.