We Have Everything Else Delivered. Why Not Prescriptions?

Rx Savings Solutions | June 5, 2023

Rx Savings Solutions | June 5, 2023

Customers wait in line to pick up prescriptions inside a retail pharmacy.

Online retail sales surpassed the $1 trillion mark last year, growing an average of 21% annually since 2020 began. It’s estimated that up to 70% of Americans purchase things online. That’s a lot of package deliveries.

Several polls suggest a similar percentage of Americans are on at least one prescription drug. So why are relatively few of us having those prescriptions delivered?

You might be hesitant to buy some things online—clothes you can’t try on or an appliance you can’t return. But those aren’t issues when getting your prescriptions shipped to you. Delivery can be a simple way to save time and avoid lines at the pharmacy, not to mention it can often save you money as well.

Speaking of cost, studies show that prescription delivery can also lead to lower overall healthcare costs by helping ensure people take their medication on time and as prescribed.

Given the cost and convenience benefits, you’d think every prescription would be delivered. Not quite, not yet.

Rx Delivery – By the Numbers

Each year, CoverMyMeds surveys 1,000 patients to learn how they’re getting prescriptions filled. The latest data show:

  • 9 in 10 patients said they had visited a pharmacy in person during the past 12 months.
  • Over half (56%) had most often filled their prescriptions at a local retail pharmacy; only 24% said they most often got them delivered.
  • 52% of patients said they would prefer delivery vs. in-store pick-up.

Rx Savings Solutions did a similar survey in fall 2022—with similar findings:

  • Almost half (46%) of respondents had used a prescription delivery service at least once.
  • 41% said they are likely or very likely to use an online pharmacy to fill and deliver their medications.
  • 37% said they were unlikely or very unlikely to do so.

Digital or Brick-and-Mortar?

The COVID-19 pandemic led to a spike in home delivery of consumer goods across the board—including prescriptions. But people are still much more likely to get things like food or furniture delivered than their medicine. Is there something about prescriptions or in-store pharmacies that makes people reluctant to opt for delivery?

More than one in three people (36%) RxSS surveyed last fall sound like they may never go the delivery route. About half of the respondents were familiar with mail-order options through their insurance, but only about 3% knew about online delivery options like Amazon Pharmacy and Mark Cuban CostPlus Drug Company.

Staffing shortages in retail pharmacies could help drive more prescription deliveries. CVS, Walgreens and Walmart all announced reduced pharmacy hours. That shrinks the window of time for working adults to pick up prescriptions and will likely lead to longer wait times.

Delivery would also seem a logical choice for anyone who doesn’t live close to a pharmacy—or doesn’t have access to transportation.

Making Sense of All Your Options

The prescription drug market is expanding and a new online pharmacy seems to open each week. The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy currently lists 85 accredited digital pharmacies. These options still require prescriptions to be sent by a healthcare provider and dispensed by licensed pharmacists. And they are subject to all the same regulations as your neighborhood pharmacy.

Yet most people still don’t know they have all these options, let alone how to sift through them all and find the best combination of cost and convenience. Platforms like Amazon, eBay, Etsy and Shopify give online shoppers that ability for all kinds of consumer goods, but there’s nothing like that in the pharmacy space—not yet.

That’s where RxSS comes in. Our service has always been focused on showing people how they can save money on prescriptions. Now, we also let our members know when they can save time by having medications shipped to their door.

If you order everything else online and have it delivered, it’s time to take a closer look at your options and consider skipping that line at the pharmacy.

more about rxSS

If your employer or health insurance company works with Rx Savings Solutions, we’re here to help you save money on prescription drugs. Watch the video to learn more.
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Here are a few ways you can use RxSS to lower out-of-pocket prescription drug expenses.

1 – See options for lower-cost medications

2 – Receive personalized notifications of savings opportunities

3 – Access personalized assistance from certified pharmacy technicians when you need it