Costco and Instacart are testing one-hour prescription deliveries

A pilot project is underway in California and Washington.

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Kris Holt
November 6th, 2019
Roberto Machado Noa via Getty Images
Roberto Machado Noa via Getty Images

People on the west coast who need medication quickly might be able to get their medication delivered in as little as 60 minutes. Costco and Instacart are testing prescription deliveries in Washington and California.

Delivery to homes or offices is free for Costco members on orders over $35 during the pilot, CNBC reported, though Instacart adds a five percent tip. Otherwise, the delivery price varies depending on how quickly customers need the meds, but is typically under $10. As with groceries, Instacart will provide delivery updates via text message. There's no word as yet on how long the trial will last or if/when it'll expand elsewhere.

There are a few differences from typical Instacart deliveries, however. Buyers will need to be over 18 and enter their date of birth when they order. They'll also have to show ID upon delivery. Customers can also speak with Costco pharmacists by phone, according to the report.

Couriers will have to pass online HIPAA certification training before they can deliver medications. They'll pick up the orders in sealed, tamper-proof bags and won't know which medications are inside.

An Instacart spokesperson confirmed the report to Engadget. Costco didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Other major retailers, such as Amazon and Walmart, have explored prescription delivery. The latter has mail-order options in some locales, while Amazon bought online pharmacy PillPack last year. The pilot marks the first time Instacart has stepped into pharmacy deliveries, which it's said to have been mulling for years.

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