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PHILADELPHIA (CBS/AP) — 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, D.C. It began those deliveries in New York late last year.
“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,” Kevin Hourican, president of CVS Pharmacy, said in a statement. “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.”
Drugstores and other retailers have been pushing more customer-friendly services in recent years to hold Amazon.com at bay. The online retailer offers members same-day deliveries of goods typically sold in drugstores in some places.
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.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)