Health and Science

CVS expands same-day prescription delivery nationwide

Key Points
  • CVS is now offering same-day prescription drug delivery nationwide.
  • Last summer, CVS introduced one- and two-day shipping.
  • Consumers continue to demand faster delivery for online orders.
A CVS ad for same-day delivery in New York City's subway.
Scott Mlyn | CNBC

CVS has decided its customers will no longer wait a couple of days to have their prescriptions delivered.

The pharmacy chain is now offering same-day delivery nationwide, almost a year after introducing one- and two-day shipping, the company announced Thursday. CVS will partner with Shipt, a Target company, to deliver prescriptions the same day they're filled. The service will cost $7.99.

For more on investing in health care innovation, click here to join CNBC at our Healthy Returns Summit in New York City on May 21.

Consumers continue to demand faster delivery for online orders. This is especially true with groceries that need to stay fresh and prescription drugs that customers need to take right away. If a person is diagnosed with strep throat and fills a prescription for an antibiotic, they're not going to wait one or two days for it to arrive.

Plus, CVS needs to act quickly if it wants to get ahead of e-commerce behemoth Amazon, which bought online pharmacy PillPack last year. Other start-ups are also trying to woo consumers with the ease of filling their prescriptions without ever walking into a pharmacy or standing in line.

CVS first tested same-day delivery in New York in late 2017 and expanded the service to a handful of other big cities last summer. It's now available at 6,000 of CVS' nearly 10,000 stores, the company said.

People can select delivery through CVS' app, via text or by calling the pharmacy. They can also add health and household items, such as cough medicine, vitamins and diapers, to the delivery. CVS will keep the option for one- or two-day delivery at a price of $4.99.

The drugstore chain has been trying to figure out ways to stay relevant as consumers consolidate their shopping carts. Not all of its ideas have worked. The company stopped offering curbside pickup in September after two years.