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The pilot program is live in more than 350 stores in the Boston area. There, CVS will tinker with the program to see what resonates with customers. A future iteration could include a MinuteClinic offering, among other possibilities.
CVS testing membership program
CVS is testing a membership program in Boston that includes free delivery on online orders and prescriptions, discounts and access to a pharmacist helpline. The program known as CarePass costs $48 annually — or $5 a month. The trial program comes as Amazon moves more aggressively into the pharmacy space with its recent acquisition of start-up PillPack. Pharmacy chains have already been hit by online shopping since fewer customers are coming in for everyday items.
CNBC | CVS is testing a membership program as Amazon pushes into prescription drugs
- CVS is piloting a membership program in Boston called CarePass.
- CarePass’ perks include free delivery on most prescriptions and online purchases.
- Amazon acquired online pharmacy start-up PillPack this year, a move seen as a major threat to pharmacies.
CVS is piloting a program in Boston that includes free delivery on most prescriptions and online purchases, access to a pharmacist helpline, a 20 percent discount on all CVS-branded products and a monthly $10 coupon. Called CarePass, a membership costs $48 annually or $5 monthly, less than half the price of a Prime membership.
Though still just a pilot in one city at this point, CarePass is a bold attempt to fight Amazon — and may even put the retailer ahead. CarePass bundles prescription drug delivery with everyday items — something Amazon doesn’t yet do.
“We think it’s a one-of-a-kind in the marketplace, but the reason for doing it is the direct response of the interest that our customers have shown us in the program,” CVS Pharmacy President Kevin Hourican told CNBC.
Online shopping has already hurt drugstores’ revenue as fewer consumers come in to buy everyday items. Amazon acquired online pharmacy start-up PillPack this year, a move seen as a major threat to pharmacies because it immediately gives the e-commerce giant a way into the prescription drug business.