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While Amazon and other D2C companies may play a growing role in drug delivery going forward, healthcare will make the transition to full digitization much more slowly than other industries because of the important role of trust between healthcare providers and patients which is bolstered by face-to-face contact in the care delivery chain , the high need for personalization of care which often requires physically seeing a patient to read between the lines of what they are telling a provider , and the high cost of getting something wrong in diagnosing a problem and assigning a treatment plan.
Then they can use digital platforms to bring value-added services, higher levels of effectiveness, and better results to those customers who they are establishing these face-to-face trusting relationships with.
Super interesting read, especially given how quickly the FANG companies are beginning to encroach on the healthcare space. I am glad you brought up the recent approval of Abilify MyCite, as I am torn about the use of this data. Should we allow pharmaceutical companies, and perhaps PBMs and even pharmacies directly, to use this information to their advantage?
And if we do allow it, is it because it is in the best interest of the patient? Personally, I fall on the side of this information being useful for everyone in the pharmaceutical supply chain. In addition, this information can be valuable to the pharmacy and the pharmaceutical company. Unfortunately, this would not just benefit CVS, but if they were able to access this kind of information, it could give them a temporary leg-up on opponents such as Amazon, especially if they had access to health records through Aetna.
The ethics of this is still a very gray area, but I see benefits for everyone from the patient to the physician to the pharmacy and pharmaceutical company. Very interesting read. I agree with other commentators that CVS would be wise to focus on a more holistic approach to healthcare and wellness, and that by owning patient care more generally, they can potentially fend off the challenge. My personal, broader view is that this transition to online drug delivery will be slow to materialize, as it may require a generational shift in buying habits; older people who make up the majority of prescription demand may be slow to trust Amazon to deliver their drugs, whereas younger patients may find that proposition less frightening.
Vijay, I found this article very informative. Amazon is a volume-focused, low-cost player with limited ownership of the final legs of delivery. Perhaps Amazon buying a specialty pharmacy is next? So I will be frank, I have wished with my birth control medication that it could be delivered in the mail.
It is something women have to take everyday and once you find a brand that works, you stay on it. When I first started on birth control, insurers allowed me to buy three months worth at a time.
Then the quota declined to two months. And now to one month. Making a special trip to CVS to pick up my prescription once per month is a hassle for me. However, when I only had to make the trip once every three months, it fit into my normal errands routine. From my personal experience, I wonder if instead of building out an online delivery model, could CVS negotiate with insurers to extend the duration between pick-ups?
This might diminish the incremental convenience of online delivery vs. Fascinating article, VK. This may seem far-fetched, but some health plans already have preferred and non-preferred pharmacies, and CVS Caremark is one of the biggest PBMs in the country, while Aetna is one of the biggest payers.
I also think about the role of other intermediaries in the supply chain. Would they still exist, or if Amazon succeeds in dominating this market, could they deal directly with the pharmaceutical manufacturers? And there is also a question of legal liability.
How would this work with direct-to-consumer delivery, and if a patient does misuse a drug that was shipped from Amazon to their house, who is legally liable for this miscommunication? Vijay — great analysis! I had never considered the threat that healthcare companies like CVS Health could face from competitors who are better equipped to handle a more digitized supply-chain.
Your assessment very much brought these threats to life, and I feel like I have a better sense of the risks. In particular I liked how you referenced specific healthcare services that firms like Amazon are better able to capitalize on. Telemedicine, remote monitoring devices and digital diagnostics just to name a few. Since you have written this assessment, it looks like the CVS purchase of Aetna has proceeded even further.
You picked a compelling topic, Vijay. This was a really great read, Vijay. The increasing trend in the customization of health care is really fascinating as I think about preventative care using data analytics and a better management of self medication. I think CVS has the potential to provide significant value to consumers and supplies. With the data CVS has on when prescriptions should be taken, how much, and with what, it could create a system that keeps consumers on track.
If CVS were to partner with remote monitoring devices that use sensors to determine whether or not customers have taken their medication, they could launch an app that uses this data to streamline the whole process. In this way, they can signal when re-fills need to be put into the system to match the upcoming demand, ship these through electronic consent, sell this data to insurance providers, and lock in customers to their ecosystem.
Additionally, CVS can use data from wearables and other monitoring devices to determine upcoming demand based on various health metrics. For example, it can signal to providers an increase in cholesterol levels for patients in a certain demographic and predict an upcoming demand for cholesterol medication.
There is significant potential for CVS to remain competitive and increase foothold in the market. Some customers in urban markets will be able to receive orders the same day. Amazon has already strained retailers with its free two-day shipping and is now eyeing the prescription drug market. CVS' program will be a test of whether patients are willing to wait for their medicines in exchange for the convenience of delivery. Patients hoping to use CVS' delivery will need to be patient and pay for the convenience.
Customers can place their orders online, through the drugstore's app or over the phone, and can add over-the-counter products like cold and flu medicines, vitamins and baby or feminine care products.
This bundled approach could help CVS counteract declines in traffic as people avoid brick-and-mortar stores and opt to instead buy their goods online, often at less expensive prices.
CVS' so-called front-of-store sales, which include everything from shampoo to greeting cards, has been declining. CVS could even find a sweet spot in over-the-counter medicines. So far, consumers haven't been buying medicines as much online as they have with other household items. People tend to wait until they're sick and need something instead of stocking up in advance. CVS will ship the products through the U. Postal Service, which can leave them at customers' homes even if they're not there.
CNBC has reported that Amazon may enter the prescription drug market. The e-commerce giant already sells private label over-the-counter drugs through a partnership with Perrigo, and has obtained pharmacy licenses in a handful of states.
Amazon has licenses to distribute medical devices in nearly all U.
CVS has a rewards program for its pharmacy and health services category. The ExtraBucks rewards program lets you earn credits for purchasing items, filling prescriptions, getting flu shots, and more. CVS has rebate incentives that you may be eligible for. You can deals and rewards from the app. If you are an active-duty, retired, or veteran military member, here's how to save on your CVS purchase:.
Go to cvs. CVS does not have any current sign-up offers. You can, however, enjoy exclusive savings through their CarePass program. CVS has a return policy that accepts returns on select product categories.
Note that some products, e. Most, if not all, products can be returned within 60 days of original purchase date. CVS accepts various payment methods, including major credit and debit cards, e. American Express, Visa, and MasterCard. You can also pay via PayPal. Do you want to market your small business? Then Vistaprint promo codes are for you.
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