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The best prescription delivery services in 2021: Amazon, CVS, PillPack and more

These are the best companies that offer fast (and often) free delivery for the medicines you need.

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Many major pharmacies have home delivery services that often cost no more than what you already pay for your medicine. 

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Avoiding stores and getting your necessities delivered to your door is not just convenient, it's very necessary in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Luckily, you can get basically anything you want without stepping into a store -- including your prescriptions.

Prescription delivery services can be a game-changer if you're unable to go the standard pharmacy route for your prescription refill. Of course, finding a way to get your prescription medication delivered is very important if you are home sick and don't want to spread germs, but there are so many other reasons a patient may want to get their medication delivered direct to their door. 

Seniors might have trouble making it to the pharmacy. Women may not have time to pick up their birth control each month. It can be easy to become disorganized and fall behind on refills for maintenance medications. A medicine delivery helps in all of these situations and more.

Below is an overview of the top services you can try (although not formally tested by CNET), as well as pharmacies that currently offer delivery. 

Amazon

Amazon Pharmacy is a new online pharmacy that offers prescription refills and free delivery for Amazon Prime members. Amazon takes your health insurance to help pay for your medications and is also offering a prescription savings benefit if you aren't using health insurance. Amazon Pharmacy lets customers compare prescription costs for their medications with an insurance co-pay, without insurance and the Prime Discount, so they can find the least-expensive option.

PillPack

PillPack is a medication delivery service owned and operated by Amazon that offers free delivery, and takes most types of health insurance. PillPack accepts most forms of Medicare, and Medicaid programs in New Hampshire, Ohio and Texas, and several specific plans nationwide. The service does not cost anything more than what you pay for medication, which is a great deal considering the extra benefits you get compared to a standard pharmacy service. 

Once you get your prescriptions set up to be filled through PillPack, you simply pay the copay for your medication, and your medications will be shipped to you every month. 

Besides offering free delivery, those extra benefits include organizing and separating your medications for each day. Every day's pills are placed into a convenient single-serve pack, and the time you are supposed to take them is even printed on the front. This is a huge perk if you take a lot of medications and spend time sorting them out, and also if you have difficulty remembering what time you are supposed to take your pills. I

If you are a caretaker for someone else, this can also be a huge time saver. Another thing you can do is add supplements, like a multivitamin or probiotic, to your packs so everything you need to take is in one place. 

CVS

CVS Pharmacy offers one- to two-day delivery and same day (on-demand) delivery in most cities. Same day delivery is usually fulfilled within hours, which is great for when you need your meds ASAP. 

CVS does charge a delivery fee for prescriptions, but some health insurance plans may cover the fee, including Medicare Part D. You can also add other essentials, like tissues or cough drops, to your prescription order and they will be delivered at no extra fee. If you join CVS' membership program, CarePass for $5 a month, you get free delivery for your prescriptions, plus free one- to two-day delivery for other items. 

It's important to remember that ordering items from CVS.com is not the same service as prescription delivery, so those will take several days or longer to ship. If you use Target's pharmacy service, CVS Pharmacy at Target, you can get free one- to two-day home delivery as well, since Target partners with CVS to fulfill your prescriptions.

Capsule

Capsule provides free same-day delivery and the service costs no more than what you already pay for your medications. The catch is that it's not available everywhere, yet. It's currently available in New York City, Boston, Chicago, Minneapolis, Westchester county and parts of New Jersey.

If you are currently set up to use a different pharmacy and want to change to Capsule, the pharmacists can transfer everything in the same day so you get your meds delivered when you need them.

NowRX

NowRX is only available in Northern California and Orange County. NowRX uses technology like artificial intelligence, robotics, advanced software and logistics to help speed up delivery time. Delivery is free, and you can get your medicine the same day if you order it before 5 p.m. Even better, delivery drivers will drop off your medicine at your door in an environmentally friendly car to help offset the impact on the environment of having extra cars on the road.

Now RX has an app to make the entire ordering, delivery and refill process even easier. They also offer a referral program where you get Visa gift cards for every friend you refer that signs up. There are no fees for using NowRx -- most major forms of insurance are accepted (except for Kaiser and Medicaid) and your regular copay covers all costs.

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AllianceRx is Walgreens' combined specialty and home delivery pharmacy. For non-specialty medications, you can get free next-day delivery with Walgreens Express. AllianceRx is what you would request if you have chronic health conditions or specialty medications you know you will need filled for the foreseeable future. Walgreens Express is your best bet for individual or one-time prescriptions you need now.

With AllianceRx, you can get up to 90 days of your prescriptions filled, plus automatic refills. Because it can cover up to three months of medication, the delivery takes about 10 days since it is delivered by standard mail for free. 

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Walmart Pharmacy does offer free standard shipping for prescriptions, but you will have to wait around 5-7 days for your medications. If you need your medications faster, you can pay an additional $8 for second-day delivery, or $15 for overnight delivery. Walmart has an app to help make the prescription management and refill process easier and more efficient. 

Walmart Pharmacy takes most forms of major insurance as well as Medicare.

ZipDrug

ZipDrug is a home delivery service designed for Medicaid insurance holders. The goal of ZipDrug is to help provide more affordable medications to Medicaid members and improve the rates that they adhere to taking their prescribed medications by offering an easier service alternative to regular pharmacies. 

According to ZipDrug, offering free home delivery and better service improves the chance that patients will take their medications as prescribed. They also work with pharmacies to reward them when they ensure patients continue to take their medications. 

The company also works with independent pharmacies over big chain pharmacies to help improve customer service. ZipDrug's delivery service is free and there is no cost for Medicaid holders to use the service. One drawback is that it is only currently available in 24 states.

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The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.