December 6, 2018 / 2:46 PM / 11 days ago

Walgreens to link up with FedEx on next-day drug delivery as Amazon nears

FILE PHOTO: A Walgreens pharmacy store is seen in Austin, TX, U.S., March 26, 2018. Picture taken on March 26, 2018. REUTERS/Mohammad Khursheed

(Reuters) - Walgreens Boots Alliance said on Thursday it would partner with FedEx Corp to launch a next-day delivery service for prescription drugs nationwide, giving it a leg up as Amazon threatens to shake-up the sector.

In the race to make inroads in the on-demand drug delivery space, Walgreens’ move could potentially put it head-to-head with Amazon.com Inc, which earlier this year said it would buy online pharmacy PillPack.

Amazon’s entry in the market would rattle traditional drug retailers and could potentially disrupt major players the U.S. drug supply chain.

Rival CVS Health Corp launched its own next-day delivery service earlier this year.

Walgreens said patients can have qualifying prescriptions delivered to their doorstep as early as the next day for $4.99.

Same-day drug delivery is already available in certain markets and will be expanded in 2019, Walgreens said.

Reporting by Uday Sampath in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr

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