- Instacart has launched an expanded prescription-delivery service in partnership with Costco, the companies announced in a press release. The two began piloting prescription delivery in Southern California and Washington state last November, CNBC reported.
- The service will now be available at nearly 200 Costco pharmacies in Arizona, California, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, New York, Washington state and Washington, D.C., and will expand nationally in the coming months.
- Customers may combine pharmacy orders with larger shopping trips. When a Costco prescription is ready, a shopper will receive a text message with a link to schedule prescription delivery. The link will take them to Costco’s site, where they can sign in and add other items to their Instacart order.
Prescription delivery may be more important than ever as older consumers and those who are immunocompromised remain at home as much as possible. These groups may also have a steady need for prescriptions to manage health conditions.
One of the biggest challenges with prescription delivery is that it often requires a signature. To honor safety and distancing measures, however, Instacart is offering contactless prescription delivery in most states, which allows its workers to scan a customer’s ID for verification rather than having them sign.
That option will not be available in all states due to varying regulations, which could cause some customers, or Instacart workers, concern over close contact. Prescriptions will be delivered in sealed, tamper-proof bags.
While the partners indicated during the November trial that prescriptions could be delivered in as little as one hour, Instacart did not make any guarantees for delivery timeframes in its latest announcement, likely due to the high demand for delivery amid COVID-19. The company recommends that customers schedule delivery as soon as they are notified that their prescription is ready for pickup.
Other retailers have made adjustments to prescription delivery during the outbreak as well. Albertsons, which already offered delivery, slashed associated fees through May 1 to make it more accessible to shoppers. H-E-B, CVS and Walgreens have all extended free prescription delivery as well.