Costco, Instacart roll out coronavirus prescription delivery service

Nearly 200 pharmacies nationwide will provide the service

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Costco and Instacart have joined forces to help homebound customers get their prescription medicine during the coronavirus pandemic

Pharmacy deliveries will be available at 200 Costco locations in select states, which will allow customers to limit their trips from home during the pandemic.


"We know that millions of consumers are relying on Instacart in the wake of COVID-19 to get the groceries and household goods they need," Instacart said Thursday. "For many people, part of their grocery shopping experience goes beyond fresh produce, meat, seafood and pantry staples, and also includes getting much-needed medications." 


Instacart provides a delivery service to drugstore chains including CVS, Walgreens and Rite Aid. However, the San Francisco-based delivery app's collaboration with Costco marks its first entry into prescription drug delivery, according to Supermarket News

The effort comes as online grocery services continue to see an onslaught of demand as millions of Americans stay home. During the week of March 2, even before some cities and states imposed "stay at home" orders, Instacart, Amazon, and Walmart grocery delivery sales all jumped by at least two-thirds from the year before, according to Earnest Research. 

With Instacart's prescrip[tion delivery service, customers will receive a text message from a Costco pharmacy notifying them that their prescription is ready. The text will come with a link giving them the option to schedule their prescription for delivery. Customers will then be redirected to Costco’s site where the customer can confirm their prescription and add other items to their order such as groceries or other household items if they choose.

To limit the amount of contact between an Instacart shopper and customer, the shopper will scan a customers ID without asking for a signature. 

Prescription delivery has been available in Washington state and California as part of a trial program. Delivery will be expanded to Costco pharmacies in Arizona, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, New York, and Washington, D.C. However, the company plans to expand the service in the coming months to more locations. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.