CVS/pharmacy rolls out SMS program to streamline mobile prescriptions

By Lauren Johnson
February 3, 2012

The CVS text alerts program  

CVS/pharmacy is making it easier for consumers to fill prescriptions on the go with a new SMS program.

The SMS program from CVS/pharmacy notifies users when their prescription is ready to be picked up at their local pharmacy. Text alerts will be available at more than 7,300 locations in the United States.

“CVS/pharmacy launched Order Ready Text Messaging to allow customers the convenience of receiving an immediate notification when their prescription is ready to be picked up,” said Erin Pensa, director of public relations for CVS/pharmacy, Woonsocket, RI.

“This program enhances communication with our customers by letting them know their orders are ready when they would not otherwise be aware, eliminating the need for them to call-in to check and, ultimately, save the customer time,” she said.

Mobile pick-ups
The CVS/pharmacy program is available for consumers who are filling a subscription at the pharmacy.

In order to sign up for the program, users can go to a CVS location and ask an employee how to receive an alert when the prescription is ready. Additional ways of letting consumers opt-in to the program might be available in the future if it is successful.

For each order that a consumer puts in, they will receive one text alert. For example, if a consumer submits three prescriptions at the same time, they will get one SMS message.

The program is also available in Spanish.

The SMS program is CVS/pharmacy’s latest initiative to make the prescription filling process easier for consumers.

The company also recently updated its iPhone and Android apps to let consumers scan bar codes on their prescriptions to order medicine while on the go (see story).

Mobile prescriptions
In addition to the apps, CVS/pharmacy also has a commerce-enabled mobile site that lets consumers buy items from the retailer’s catalog.

CVS/pharmacy is not the only company using mobile for pharmacy prescriptions.

Walgreens also has a group of mobile products and claims that 40 percent of its online prescriptions come in via mobile.

Offering consumers an alert when their prescription is ready is a natural way for pharmacies to use SMS and communicate with consumers.

“The Order Ready Text Messaging Program complements additional mobile features from CVS/pharmacy that allow shoppers to use mobile devices to scan and order prescription refills from anywhere at any time,” Ms. Pensa said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York