Walgreens launches next-day prescription delivery with FedEx

NASDAQ WBA | Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. News Ratings and Charts

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.

The new next-day service is called Walgreens Express, and users will be charged a fee of $4.99 to get their drugs delivered to their door the day after they order them, though this only applies to orders placed by 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. The Deerfield, Illinois, company started offering deliveries in several markets in October.

Patients will get a text when their prescriptions are ready and they can then choose between a home delivery option or express pickup in-store.

"Walgreens is driven by a desire to make healthcare accessible to all across the thousands of communities we serve". Patients who prefer collecting prescriptions at their local Walgreens can enter a dedicated Walgreens Express pickup checkout line to receive their prescriptions.

Walgreens' goal to maintain market presence in the midst of disruption in the service of its patients likely necessitated the partnership with FedEx.

"The rollout of delivery from almost 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", CVS Pharmacy's president, Kevin Hourican, said in a statement earlier this year. (NASDAQ: WBA), the first global pharmacy-led, health and wellbeing enterprise.

Walgreens is up against stiff competition for customers, facing off against Amazon, which is getting into the pharmacy business through its acquisition of the online pharmacy PillPack; CVS Health, which is making a big bet on the healthcare aspect of its business through the acquisition of the insurer Aetna; and of course the retail giant Walmart.

The internet giant said on Thursday it would buy online pharmacy PillPack, a small but significant step into the USA healthcare sector.

PillPack is an online pharmacy which operates in all 50 USA states and offers pre-sorted dose packaging and home delivery.

Amazon has always been rumored to be interested in the pharmacy business, and its entry could disrupt a business dominated by large American chains such as CVS and Walgreens.

Same-day home delivery is available in the following markets: Dallas, Chicago, New York City, Gainesville, Miami, Tampa, and Fort Lauderdale and is subject to certain limitations and restrictions.

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