Amazon hasn’t launched its prescription mail order program yet, but the effects of its potential market entry are already being felt across the industry. Thus, CVS has announced that it will “begin offering next-day delivery of prescription drugs and same-day service in some big cities next year, reflecting the company’s worries about potential competition from Amazon.” NY Times Article.
CVS plans to offer free delivery “within hours” of both prescription drug products and some OTC products ordering. Starting 2018 such services will be available in Miami, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C. and San Francisco. Next day deliveries will be available in other major cities.
Free deliveries were always the domain of independent pharmacies – this has been their competitive edge of negotiating third party contracts. Now with CVS entering free deliveries market it will be even harder for independents to compete and negotiate their contracts with PBMs and other third party payors. In addition, Amazon is entering the arena and time will show whether it will substantially change the way we order and receive our medications.