Just days before Amazon announced its acquisition of PillPack, Walgreens' main rival CVS announced that it would be teaming up with the U.S. Postal Service to launch a service similar to Walgreens Express, which lets patients pay $4.99 for home delivery. Walgreens is now the fastest choice for next-day prescription delivery across the nation.
Walgreens is working with FedEx to launch a nationwide next-day delivery service for prescription drugs as the top pharmacy chains gear up to compete with Amazon.
Walgreens and FedEx have already partnered to let customers pick up and drop off packages at nearly 8,000 pharmacies nationwide. "This expansion of our alliance with FedEx illustrates our commitment to making filling prescriptions as fast and easy as possible". "Nationwide home delivery with FedEx is a key driver in our efforts to develop and expand omni-channel capabilities as we evolve our model to meet customers changing needs and expectations".
Customers who opt into getting texts from Walgreens will get an alert when a prescription is ready, and then can decide to have it delivered instead of coming into the store.
Through Walgreens Express, patients receive a text notification when prescriptions are filled and can choose to get their medications delivered to their home or pick them up in one of the pharmacy chain's locations via an Express pickup line. At the start, the service will be available at 7,100 of Walgreens' 9,560 pharmacies. Same-day delivery is available in Dallas, Chicago, New York City, Gainesville, Miami, Tampa, and Fort Lauderdale. A Walgreens spokesman said same-day delivery fees will vary, but will be priced competitively.
CVS' service, which shares the same price tag as Walgreens at $4.99 per delivery, comes amid lagging sales but enters a last-mile market that is notoriously high in cost.
Amazon.com's move to buy online pharmacy PillPack sent shares of drug distributors and retailers lower when it was announced. And that development is going to shake-up the space for all pharma delivery companies, large and small. "Going forward, we will continue to transform our pharmacies to create neighborhood healthcare destinations that offer a wide range of accessible health and well-being services", said Smulevitz. Approximately 400 Walgreens stores offer Healthcare Clinic or other provider retail clinic services.