Customers at more than 350 CVS stores in the greater Boston area can now get free one- to two-day delivery on most medications and purchases, access to a 24/7 pharmacist helpline and 20% discounts on private label CVS Health products via the retailer’s new CarePass rewards program. This enhancement to the retailer’s ExtraCare Rewards loyalty program costs $5 per month or $48 per year. CarePass members also receive a monthly $10 CarePass promotional reward that can be used both in stores and online.
By bundling prescription drugs with other products sold in its stores, the new CVS program takes aim at Amazon, which acquired mail-order pharmacy provider PillPack in June 2018. This purchase gave the e-Commerce giant a toehold into the lucrative health care and prescription drug markets, raising fears among drugstore retailers that Amazon would encroach further into their turf.
The retailer has taken steps to tie itself more closely with health care, acquiring insurer Aetna for $69 billion in December 2017. The combination of CVS’ large store footprint with the data available from a major health insurer should provide a strong competitive edge.
CVS plans to expand the CarePass program in coming months, evolving it based on learnings from the market pilot test, according to a company statement.
“We want this to expand nationwide,” Kevin Hourican, EVP of CVS Health and President, CVS Pharmacy told CNBC. “But we also want to make sure we are ready and prepared and that when we do roll it out nationwide, the program is one that customers can have a great experience with.”