Amazon launches same-day prescription delivery in New York, LA


The Amazon Pharmacy home screen is displayed on a laptop in Brooklyn, New York, on Nov. 17, 2020.

Gabby Jones | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Amazon’s effort to get customers in the two largest U.S. markets whatever they want on the day of their order has expanded to include prescription drugs.

The e-commerce giant said on Tuesday that it’s rolling out same-day delivery of prescription medications in New York City and the greater Los Angeles area.

The prescriptions are offered via Amazon’s online pharmacy service, which launched in 2020. Amazon Pharmacy, born out of the company’s 2018 acquisition of online pharmacy PillPack, allows customers to order prescription medications for home delivery, with free shipping for Prime members.

To speed up deliveries, Amazon said it’s using new, smaller facilities, stocked with the most common prescription medications for acute conditions. The locations are equipped to process a prescription “within a matter of minutes rather than hours or days,” the company said.

“By bringing Amazon Pharmacy’s deliveries into our existing world-class logistics network, Amazon is building the fastest and most convenient service for the home delivery of prescription medications,” Doug Herrington, CEO of Worldwide Amazon Stores, said in a statement. “These faster delivery speeds will be a game changer when you or your family need your medications quickly.”

San Bernardino, Riverside and Anaheim, which are all in the LA area, are eligible for same-day prescription deliveries starting Tuesday. The broader LA metro area will be up and running in April. The company plans to add more than a dozen other cities by the end of the year.

In October, Amazon began offering same-day prescription medication delivery in Seattle, Miami, Indianapolis, Phoenix and Austin, Texas. At the same time, the company said it would start sending prescription medications via drone in College Station, Texas, one of the two cities where Amazon is dispatching unmanned aircrafts to deliver items weighing five pounds or less.

The company said it’s dispatching e-bikes to handle some Amazon Pharmacy deliveries in New York. Amazon has been experimenting with e-cargo delivery bikes, which can speed up deliveries and cut down on emissions, in the city for the past several years.

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