Nearly half of the US is on at least one prescription, but the coronavirus pandemic has thrown people for a loop and made picking up medications another in a long list of daily hurdles. Nuro is hoping to make getting prescriptions easier by teaming up with CVS. The company will use its fleet of autonomous vehicles to deliver meds to the curbs of customers who place orders via CVS.com or the CVS pharmacy app. The pilot program will start in June and will serve areas in Houston, Texas. This service will be free to all CVS Pharmacy customers, and Nuro says that deliveries should take three hours or less.
In April, DoorDash began delivering items from convenience stores like 7-Eleven, Wawa and Circle K. Now, DoorDash is expanding its offerings and will deliver non-prescription items from CVS Pharmacy, too. As of today, DoorDash customers in select cities can order over 3,000 items from CVS -- ranging from groceries to cleaning products and over-the-counter medicines. The deliveries will be no-contact by default, and users won't be required to sign up for a delivery time slot or pre-schedule. To start, the service will be available in Dallas, Houston, New York City and Philadelphia. DoorDash and CVS plan to expand the partnership in the Bronx, Brooklyn, San Francisco and Boston metro areas this summer.
The driverless car startup Nuro is deploying its fleet of robocars in Texas to deliver people's prescriptions. According to the company, its fleet of tiny self-driving cars will start delivering prescriptions next month to CVS customers in Houston at no extra charge. The company says it will start making deliveries with its autonomous fleet of Toyota Prius' and then switch to its smaller and more dedicated robot, the R2. For now, a safety driver will be accompanying the cars until Nuro switches to its completely autonomous R2. Eligible customers in three zip codes will be able to use the CVS website or the company's pharmacy app to order prescriptions online.
TJ Parker created PillPack, in hopes of making it easier to get prescriptions filled, landing him as one of 10 finalists for USA TODAY's Small Business Innovators of the Year series. Amazon is jumping into the online pharmacy business, signaling the company's plans to upend the traditional market for prescription drugs amid serious concerns about health care costs. The tech and retail giant announced Thursday that it is acquiring Boston-based online pharmacy startup PillPack, which sorts and delivers medication, including refills. The move makes Amazon a serious player in the lucrative but complex market for pharmacy services. "This is the sweet spot that Amazon works in -- Amazon is particularly skilled at fulfillment, at consumer engagement in terms of the supply chain and delivery of product," said Marianne Udow-Phillips, executive director of the Center for Healthcare Research & Transformation at the University of Michigan.
CNBC reports that Amazon may move into the pharmaceutical industry. Elizabeth Keatinge (@elizkeatinge) has more. The U.S. prescription drug market is estimated to be worth $465 billion in 2016. SAN FRANCISCO -- Amazon may be exploring a move into the $465 billion-a-year U.S. pharmaceutical market. It's a market ripe for disruption but also a difficult one to enter, say analysts.