Deliv, the crowdsourced same-day delivery service which today partners with retailers like Macy’s, Best Buy, Petsmart and Walmart on various initiatives, today announced a new service to offer same-day delivery of prescription medications. At launch, Deliv Rx, as the service is being called, will power same-day delivery of prescriptions for select Walgreens, as well as Kay Pharmacy, Phil, Phox Health, Rancho Park and others.
The company is entering a crowded market for prescription delivery. In addition to online pharmacies and delivery services from Phil, PillPack, ScriptDrop, ZipDrug, Alto, and more, there are also those tackling same-day deliveries in particular, like Phox Health, Capsule, Nimble, NowRx or GetMyRx, for example.
But Deliv isn’t necessarily trying to take on all these as competitors. Instead, it can partner with them to power the actual delivery piece of their larger business. In fact, it has already partnered with some of those in this space, including Phox Health and Phil.
“Deliv is not an e-commerce site, it’s not a marketplace, it’s not a store, and it’s not an app looking to manage prescriptions. Deliv is purely a crowdsourced base, last-mile delivery service. Think of as a local UPS without the planes and warehouses. We are an asset free logistics provider,” explains Deliv CEO Daphne Carmeli.
In addition to powering a new crop of prescription-delivery startups, the company also sees the potential to help smaller pharmacies compete with larger chains. There are 67,000 pharmacy locations in the U.S., half of which are independent. Partners in this space at launch include Kay Pharmacy in Grand Rapids, Michigan and Rancho Park in L.A.
But Deliv Rx can take on clients from bigger chains, too. At launch, Walgreens is using Deliv in the Dallas metro area.
The business model for Deliv Rx is also different from the pharmacies’ themselves, as it’s not trying to own the customer relationship.
The customers can continue to transact with their preferred pharmacy, then choose same-day delivery at checkout. If the pharmacy doesn’t want to deal with managing their own employee drivers, they can simply outsource the logistics and operations around same-day delivery to Deliv Rx.
Deliv Rx will generate revenue the same way its crowdsourced delivery service Deliv does – by charging a pre-negotiated delivery fee. The retailer -or in this case, the pharmacy – can then decide what to charge its customers to recoup that fee. They can also choose what sort of delivery windows they want to offer – though most choose a 1- to 3-hour window, Carmeli tells us.
Essentially, Deliv Rx isn’t so much of a brand-new service for Deliv, but a launch of a new vertical that makes it clear that Deliv is ready to take on prescription deliveries, instead of just those from retailers or grocers.
The company is using its existing Deliv workforce – a network of independent contractors – to handle these Deliv Rx deliveries, as well. However, the participating Deliv Rx drivers are HIPAA compliant as well as being background-checked, as before.
The potential market for same-day delivery of medication is large, as the industry shifts online. Last year, consumers were projected to spend $360.1 billion on medication, and that number could reach $610 billion by 2021, Deliv notes, citing various industry reports. However, of the 4 billion prescriptions filled in the U.S. every year, most are still filled at 60,000 retail pharmacies where you still have to pick up in person.
“Waiting for a prescription when you’re in a hurry is annoying, but waiting for it when you really need it is simply unacceptable,” Darmeli said in the company’s announcement. “Deliv Rx enables pharmacies to be there for their customers in the best way at the most critical time. By extending a highly sought after, value-added service, pharmacies build brand loyalty while also ensuring that the integrity of prescriptions remain intact.”
Prescriptions – including those from vets – aren’t the only thing Deliv Rx can handle. The company is also authorized to deliver medical devices, specimens, documents, medical equipment and supplies to and from hospitals, labs, clinics, doctor and dentist offices, nursing homes, patient and research facilities, it says.