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If there’s anything that the pandemic has taught us, it’s that you can buy just about anything online and have it delivered to your door.
When it comes to your medications, though, you want to make sure you are getting them from a legitimate source. Keep reading to learn about the best options for online pharmacies that can deliver medications to you.
An online pharmacy is any internet vendor that sells medications. Most of the time, these companies specialize in home delivery of prescription medications.
In the United States, these pharmacies can be accredited by organizations like the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy. To be eligible for this accreditation, pharmacies must:
- be licensed to operate in the United States
- have a website that offers at least one digital pharmacy service, like refills
- have been operational for at least 30 days with a licensed pharmacist in charge
- have an online domain that is active at the time of application, and it must stay that way
- sticking to pharmacies based in the United States
- talking with your doctor about the prescriptions you want to order
- using only pharmacies that allow you to speak with a licensed pharmacist
The best choices for online pharmacies have a good reputation and have proven themselves with quality service. See our picks below.
The pharmacies listed in this article were selected based on their:
- business history and practices
- pricing and availability
- scope of services offered
Reviews on the websites for each were largely positive, but these subjective measures were left out of our considerations. Instead, the focus was on what they offer, for how much, and how easy it is to order.
- Overview. Amazon just entered the online pharmacy arena in 2020, but it is able to offer low cost medications and deliveries for people with or without health insurance.
- Cost and insurance participation. Amazon’s prices are easy to find and compare. Many insurance plans are accepted, and there is an additional discount for Amazon Prime members.
- Shipping. Like with many Amazon items, Amazon Pharmacy offers free, 2-day shipping for members.
- Benefits. Amazon is a large company with a solid reputation and a lot of oversight. Amazon also purchased Pill Pack, providing multiple medications you take daily in individual packets for easy use.
- Red flags or concerns. Amazon may be more difficult to navigate or more expensive without health insurance.
- Overview. Blink is an online pharmacy service that allows you to order medications prescribed to you or get a prescription for certain conditions through a telehealth provider.
- Cost and insurance participation. Blink does not accept all health insurance plans, but it does offer savings programs and price matching on generic medications.
- Shipping. Shipping is free, but you also have the option to pick up medications at a local retail pharmacy.
- Benefits. This service offers both shipping and local pickup, as well as online health services. A wide variety of medications is available.
- Red flags or concerns. Blink only recently started accepting health insurance payments, and which companies participate is unclear. Telehealth services can be used to prescribe medications for only a limited number of specific conditions.
- Overview. Capsule offers home delivery of medications in select areas.
- Cost and insurance participation. Capsule accepts insurance, but it’s unclear how affordable medications are if you pay out of pocket.
- Shipping. Shipping is free and medications are hand-delivered in participating locations.
- Benefits. Capsule works with providers to fill your prescriptions without the needs to set up an account. The service will contact you about delivery when a prescription is received and remind you when it’s time for refills. Same-day delivery is an option.
- Red flags or concerns. Capsule is not available everywhere, only in select major cities. Telehealth services are not offered, and out-of-pocket costs without insurance are not clear.
- Overview. CVS is a large retail pharmacy chain that offers home delivery of prescription medications.
- Cost and insurance participation. CVS offers the same retail costs as in its pharmacy locations and accepts insurance.
- Shipping. Shipping is free with membership in the CarePass program. You also have the option to pick up prescriptions at a local retail location.
- Benefits. You can manage your account online or with a mobile app, but you have the flexibility to use retail locations, too. Health insurance is accepted. You can also purchase a variety of household items and over-the-counter medications.
- Red flags or concerns. Cost may be higher, as medications are priced that same as in retail pharmacies.
- Overview. ExpressScripts is a long-standing home delivery pharmacy service that has moved into the online pharmacy space. Formed in the 1980s for home delivery of medications, the service now offers online ordering and telehealth services in addition to medication delivery.
- Cost and insurance participation. ExpressScripts accepts insurance payments. Prices vary by medication but are typically priced lower than retail pharmacies.
- Shipping. Standard shipping is free and expedited shipping is available for an extra cost. Service includes temperature-controlled or secure packaging for specialty medications.
- Benefits. This is a long-standing business with a strong reputation. It also offers specialty medications and telehealth services. Some insurance companies will suggest or require you to use this type of service for medications you take every day.
- Red flags or concerns. It may be more difficult to navigate or more expensive without health insurance.
- Overview. GeniusRx is an online pharmacy that also offers telehealth services. You can order medications online and the pharmacy will contact your doctor for a prescription or help you access a telehealth professional.
- Cost and insurance participation. The company promises low costs but does not accept health insurance.
- Shipping. It offers free standard shipping in 2 to 5 days with the United States Postal Service (USPS).
- Benefits. GeniusRx offers low cost prescriptions if you want to pay out of pocket, and telehealth services are available if you need a prescription.
- Red flags or concerns. This formerly existed as MailMyPrescriptions.com, which suffered a data security breach in early 2021.
- Overview. Health Warehouse is a large digital pharmacy based in Kentucky. It is a direct seller of generic and brand-name prescription medications.
- Cost and insurance participation. Health Warehouse boasts affordable medications but does not accept any form of health insurance.
- Shipping. Shipping is free only if you sign up for a monthly newsletter. Other delivery options range from $3.95 to $29.95 through USPS or UPS.
- Benefits. This is a large company founded more than a decade ago that offers a wide selection of medications.
- Red flags or concerns. No telehealth services are offered and health insurance is not accepted.
- Overview. Hims/Hers focuses on home delivery of primary care mediations and supplements. The services are split into men’s and women’s services to support gender-specific health needs like erectile dysfunction and birth control. This is less of a prescription fulfillment service and more of a one-stop-shop for healthcare. To order, you create a list of health conditions and concerns and you are connected with a telehealth care professional. Prescriptions are ordered for you and delivered to your home.
- Cost and insurance participation. Hims/Hers does not accept medical insurance, but you do have the option of having a prescription you receive from a Hims/Hers professional sent to a local retail pharmacy that may accept insurance. There is a $39 fee for the telehealth service.
- Shipping. Shipping is free, and discreet packaging is offered.
- Benefits. The all-in-one service to get a prescription and medication without visiting a traditional doctor’s office is appealing.
- Red flags or concerns. Services are limited to things like primary care, skin care, and more. You should not use this service for chronic, complex medical conditions.
- Overview. Honeybee offers low cost generic medications with a prescription.
- Cost and insurance participation. Honeybee does not accept any health insurance, but it promises to offer some of the lowest prices on generic medications.
- Shipping. Free standard shipping with USPS is available, but there is an option for priority shipping at an extra cost.
- Benefits. The company is focused on low prices and customer service.
- Red flags or concerns. Honeybee offers only generic medications at this time, and there are no telehealth services.
- Overview. Walgreens/Walmart is a large national retail pharmacy chain that offers home delivery of prescription medications. Walgreens is the pharmacy arm of Walmart, but Walmart also offers prescription medication services.
- Cost and insurance participation. Prices are in line with other retail pharmacies, but both Walgreens and Walmart accept insurance.
- Shipping. Free shipping is available, but it depends on your insurance coverage.
- Benefits. Medications can be delivered or picked up in store, and generics or brand-name medications are available.
- Red flags or concerns. Participation in online and home services is limited based on insurance, and pricing matches that of other retail pharmacies.
There are several reasons people might seek out pharmacy services online. Some advantages of using online pharmacies can include:
- better access to medications for people who are disabled or housebound
- 24-hour access
- an almost unlimited variety of available products
- relative privacy compared with seeing an in-person pharmacist
- easy access to comparison shopping
For all these perks, though, there are definitely some disadvantages to using online pharmacies. These can include:
- a loss of interaction between the patient and pharmacist
- possible inconsistency in quality of products
- concerns about legitimacy of the online pharmacy
- higher chances of misdiagnosis or misuse of medications
Many online pharmacies fall into two categories.
- They are simply a provider of medications with or without insurance to give you alternative to retail locations.
- They are a one-stop online shop for telehealth and prescriptions services, but the conditions treated and medications available may be limited.
Are online pharmacies legit?
Not every online pharmacy is legitimate. Check out accreditation and licensing before placing an order with any online pharmacy.
Are they covered by insurance?
Some online pharmacies accept insurance, but many do not.
Can you get medication from an online pharmacy without a prescription?
Select online pharmacies offer telehealth services if you do not have a prescription for the medication you need. However, these services usually cover limited conditions.
Does CVS offer prescription delivery?
CVS does offer prescription medication delivery.