Getting your prescriptions delivered from the pharmacy is a lifesaver, especially if you are managing multiple prescriptions.
Although there are a variety of options to have prescriptions delivered, choosing the right one will depend on a number of things including where you live and what medication you are taking.
Here’s your guide to the different prescription delivery options to help you get started!
Traditional Retail Pharmacies
Traditional retail pharmacies have been delivering prescriptions for years.
However, during the pandemic, many expanded their delivery offering dramatically in order to many of these pharmacies expanded their delivery capabi
However, these pharmacies have expanded their delivery offerings significantly to meet customer demands during the pandemic.
Let’s take a look at how the prescription delivery process works from a typical retail pharmacy.
Prescription Delivery From Traditional Retail Pharmacies
The process to have prescriptions delivered from a traditional pharmacy like CVS or Walgreens is fairly straightforward.
Your doctor sends a prescription to the pharmacy and the pharmacy goes through their normal routine to fill it.
Once the prescription is ready, your pharmacy will call you to pick it up.
At that point, you can tell them over the phone that you would like to have it delivered instead. The pharmacy will then use a 3rd party to deliver the prescriptions to your home in 1-3 days.
Prescription Delivery Cost From Traditional Retail Pharmacies
Prescription delivery costs from traditional retail pharmacies can vary.
However, it is generally between $4.99 – $7.99 to have your prescription delivered in 1-3 days.
Some have an option for same day pharmacy delivery, but it is more expensive. In fact, same day delivery at some brick and mortar retail pharmacies can cost as much as $20 per delivery!
Additionally, most of these pharmacies require your prescription to be sent in the morning to guarantee same day delivery and they will not deliver controlled (adderall, hydrocodone, etc.) or refrigerated (insulin, etc.) medications.
Mail-order pharmacies have been around for almost 50 years but recently started gaining more popularity during the pandemic.
Mail order pharmacies fill around 5% of prescriptions each year.
The largest mail order pharmacies in the US are Express Scripts, OptumRx, and Caremark.
In recent years, Amazon has entered the mail order pharmacy space through their acquisition of PillPack and subsequent launch of Amazon Pharmacy.
Prescription Delivery from a Mail Order Pharmacy
Getting prescriptions delivered through mail-order can be extremely difficult at first.
However, once you set everything up, refills for the same medication are straightforward and simple.
To sign up, you need to go online and create an account. Then, your information will need to be verified. The process can take anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks.
After that, you can tell your doctor to send your prescriptions to the mail order pharmacy.
Make sure to check with your health insurance provider before sending prescriptions to a mail order pharmacy.
Prescription Delivery Cost From a Mail-Order Pharmacy
Most mail order pharmacies are free. Additionally, some may even offer cheaper prescriptions depending on your insurance provider.
However, there are some drawbacks.
For example, delivery times are generally much longer (Amazon Pillpack Setup 2 weeks) and most rely on the USPS for delivery which can cause issues if something happens.
On top of that, most mail pharmacies restrict the medications they will mail. For example, many do not offer delivery of controlled (adderall, hydrocodone, etc.) or refrigerated (insulin, etc.) medications.
On-demand pharmacies are the newest option for medication delivery.
They used to account for a relatively small percentage of prescriptions filled each year but that has grown rapidly since the start of the pandemic.
These pharmacies were built specifically for delivery and deliver medications in hours.
The most well-known on-demand pharmacies are Alto Pharmacy, NowRx Pharmacy, Capsule, and Medly.
Prescription Delivery From On-Demand Pharmacies
The process to use an on-demand pharmacy is extremely easy.
When your doctor writes a prescription and asks what pharmacy they should send it to, you tell them the pharmacy name just like you would a regular CVS or Walgreens. For example, send it to NowRx.
Then, the pharmacy will call to confirm the delivery and collect any additional info that is needed.
Finally, the pharmacy will deliver your prescription in a few hours.
Prescription Delivery Cost From An On-Demand Pharmacy
There is no cost to use an on-demand pharmacy.
You just pay your normal copay like you would at any CVS or Walgreens.
How can they afford that?
Since customers are not walking into the physical store, these pharmacies can usually rent much smaller and cheaper spaces. On top of that, many use robotics and other forms of automation which increase efficiency.
These savings enable free same day pharmacy delivery.
Additionally, most on-demand pharmacies use pharmacy employees, opposed to 3rd party drivers. That means they are able to deliver both controlled and refrigerated medications, however they will still require you to show a valid ID and sign for the medication.
Most importantly, on demand pharmacies have a local presence in every area they deliver.
So if anything ever goes wrong or you need to talk to a pharmacist in person they are in your area and available just like a regular brick and mortar pharmacy.
Get Prescriptions Delivered: You’ve Got Options
So to recap, there are three main options to have your prescriptions delivered:
- Traditional Pharmacies – Simple, $$$ delivery fees, some medications not offered for delivery
- Mail-Order Pharmacies – Some setup required, $0 delivery fees, some medications not offered for delivery
- On-Demand Pharmacies – Simple, $0 delivery fees, all medications offered for delivery
At a time when people are taking steps to self-quarantine and socially distance themselves, pharmacy delivery services are quickly growing in popularity and it is easy to see why.
The best choice for you is a personal one and will depend on a number of factors including your health insurance plan and where you live. Talk with your healthcare provider to figure out what options are available based on your medication and personal circumstances.
If you have questions about how to transfer a prescription for home delivery, check out our blog “How To Transfer a Prescription to Another Pharmacy” or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About NowRx Pharmacy
NowRx Pharmacy is a new kind of local pharmacy built from the ground up to deliver a better pharmacy experience. We use modern technology inside the pharmacy to provide better pricing, better service, and better convenience. Visit our NowRx Pharmacy Frequently Asked Questions to learn more.