PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- The nation's largest pharmacy, CVS, will offer next-day home delivery of prescription drugs in Pittsburgh and around the nation beginning in early 2018.
Some markets, like Philadelphia, will get same-day delivery.
"Providing same and next-day options for delivery of medications is just another way we can help our patients get and stay healthy," said Helena Foulkes, president of CVS Pharmacy.
Analysts say competition is keen among the top four pharmacies that include CVS, Walgreens, Walmart, and Rite Aid with worries that Amazon may soon enter the pharmacy field.
It's big business with more than half of Americans taking prescription drugs, amounting to 4.5 billion pills every year.
And home delivery can be very important, say local pharmacists.
"A large portion of our clientele are elderly. They don't drive. They don't have people who can come get prescriptions for them," Jodi Mitchell, a pharmacist at Spartan Pharmacy, told KDKA money editor Jon Delano on Tuesday. "We also have people who have sick children, and they don't want to drag all of their children out of the house to get an antibiotic."
Next-day or even same-day delivery of prescription drugs may be brand new to CVS, but some local independent companies say, what's the big deal?
We've been doing that in Pittsburgh for more than a decade.
"Most of the independents in Pittsburgh already deliver same day. If you call in the morning, you can have your stuff in the afternoon," says Mitchell.
Mitchell says Spartan Pharmacy delivers free Monday through Friday, but many big drug stores do not, including Giant Eagle Pharmacy.
As for worries about Amazon entering the drug business, adds Mitchell, "They can probably offer them a little cheaper, but that's where we have to come in with our customer service."
"I don't see people calling Amazon very readily and asking them questions about their medications," she said.
for more features.