CVS Health plans to start providing next-day supply of prescriptions from its nationwide community of greater than 9,700 shops, marking a probably preemptive strike at Amazon as the web big weighs entry into the pharmacy enterprise.

CVS CEO Larry Merlo mentioned Monday that the corporate would start providing the service in 2018.

Stores in Miami, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C. and San Francisco will provide same-day supply on pharmaceuticals, he mentioned.

The transfer comes as Amazon is alleged to be contemplating promoting pharmaceuticals, which might require navigating a posh thicket of regulatory approvals however would characterize a big risk to CVS.

It additionally comes as CVS grapples with declining in-store gross sales as lots of the retail merchandise the corporate sells are contracting.

The firm may also provide free, same-day from all of its places in Manhattan beginning Dec. four.

A division that manages prescription drug advantages helped offset a declining in-store efficiency within the third quarter for the drug-store chain.

CVS on Monday reported barely better-than-expected income and revenue for the interval however stayed tight-lipped its rumored talks to ambad medical health insurance big Aetna.

CVS recorded third-quarter income of $46.18 billion, up three.5%. That narrowly edged S&P Global Market Intelligence expectations of $46.17 billion.

Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria took a $55 million chew out of the corporate’s earnings, largely within the type of funds in insurance coverage deductibles, Merlo mentioned on a convention name. Some 925 CVS places have been closed sooner or later due to the storms.

The firm’s pharmacy providers division, which manages drug advantages as an middleman between insurers and drug corporations, grew into an excellent greater a part of its enterprise within the third quarter.


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That unit’s gross sales rose eight.1% to $32.9 billion as prescription quantity, mail orders and specialty medication elevated.

The means CVS reviews its outcomes, its pharmacy providers division overlaps with its retail section, whose income was down 2.7% to $19.6 billion.

Sales at CVS shops open not less than a yr, a metric considered as an important gauge of a retailer’s well being, declined three.2%.

CVS mentioned its same-store gross sales have been harm by a rise in generic medication, decrease insurance coverage reimbursement charges, an intentional transfer to chop retailer reductions and fewer foot visitors.

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Facing the potential entry of on-line big Amazon into the pharmacy enterprise, CVS is alleged to be contemplating an enormous provide to purchase Aetna, which lately deserted a proposed tie-up with Humana amid regulatory strain.

A take care of Aetna would give CVS a hand in most main parts of the well being care enterprise, together with insurance coverage, pharmacy profit providers, pharmacy gross sales and even scientific care.

CVS didn’t touch upon a potential Aetna accord Monday.

The firm’s web revenue fell 19.eight% to $1.29 billion, edging S&P Global Market Intelligence expectations of $1.28 billion.

CVS inventory elevated zero.5% in pre-market buying and selling to $69.60.

Follow USA TODAY reporter Nathan Bomey on Twitter @NathanBomey.

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