Walgreens expands prescription delivery program nationwide | AP business

Desiree Burns
December 8, 2018

And the competition is heating up.

In June, CVS - which had previously announced its intention to add a similar delivery service - finally added it to its repertoire of services with the help of the U.S. Postal Service (USPS).

Walgreens has partnered with FedEx to launch a next-day prescription delivery service, according to a press release. "Just as FedEx package pick-up and drop-off services at Walgreens locations provide customers with much-needed convenience, the ability to ship prescription medication directly from Walgreens to their homes offers valuable flexibility to best meet individual needs and schedules".

"This announcement builds upon the collaboration and our existing platform, where FedEx team members are in our stores multiple times per day, so the handling and delivery of prescriptions will be a very efficient and fast process, consistent across the nation", Morry Smulevitz, VP of Business and Operations Communications at Walgreens, told me.

Walgreens said patients can have qualifying prescriptions delivered to their doorstep as early as the next day for $4.99. In some markets, same-day delivery is available with 2019 expansion expected.

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The delivery service is part of Walgreens Express, which also lets customers preview the cost of their prescriptions and prepay for those that are eligible.

Walgreens' goal to maintain market presence in the midst of disruption in the service of its patients likely necessitated the partnership with FedEx. Right now, same day delivery is only available in Dallas, Chicago, New York City, Gainesville, Miami, Tampa, and Fort Lauderdale.

Several venture-backed startups also offer same-day prescription delivery or websites that allow you to pay in advance for drugs and pick them up at a drugstore of your choice. A Walgreens spokesman said same-day delivery fees will vary, but will be priced competitively. Of course, the elephant in the room, and the company that all of these players, are competing against is Amazon, which spent $1 billion to buy PillPack in June. And that development is going to shake-up the space for all pharma delivery companies, large and small.

Terms were not disclosed on the deal for PillPack, an online pharmacy which operates in all 50 USA states and offers pre-sorted dose packaging and home delivery.

"Walgreens is driven by a desire to make healthcare accessible to all across the thousands of communities we serve".

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