CVS pilots membership program to take on Amazon

CVS is testing a membership program in Boston as Amazon pushes into prescription drug delivery, according to CNBC.

Called CarePass, CVS' new program costs $5 monthly or $48 annually and includes free delivery on most online purchases and prescriptions, a 20 percent discount on all CVS-branded products, access to a pharmacist helpline and a monthly $10 coupon.

CVS is piloting the program as pharmacies across the nation face a major threat from Amazon, which acquired online pharmacy start-up PillPack earlier this year.

Amazon entered into a definitive agreement in June to acquire PillPack, which markets itself as a "full-service" pharmacy with a 24/7 customer service team. Amazon completed the $753 million acquisition Sept. 11.

Although CarePass could help CVS fight off the threat of Amazon, CVS said it launched the membership program as a way to better serve customers.

"We are committed to designing and testing innovative programs that meet our customers' health needs whenever, wherever and however they want," Kevin Hourican, executive vice president of CVS Health and president of CVS Pharmacy, said in a press release. "The CarePass pilot program in Boston offers our customers an additional level of benefits and services that make it easy to save time, save money and receive access to on-demand pharmacy care."

CVS rolled out the membership program at more than 350 stores in the Boston area and plans to expand the program nationwide.

More articles on CVS:

UnitedHealth, CVS, Express Scripts, Prime must face lawsuit over EpiPen prices
New York may block parts of CVS-Aetna deal
CVS Health CEO hints Aetna merger may work with hospital, physician EHRs to coordinate care

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