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CVS/pharmacy Review

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CVS/pharmacy is among the largest drug store chains in America and they’ve made an eloquent transition to operating in cyberspace. The ease of use of the site combined with exceptional health education features have earned them one of our top spots in our pharmacy review.

Standout Features

• Extensive health education library
• Simple, secure prescription ordering process
• Outstanding customer support options

Prescription Services

CVS/pharmacy makes filling prescriptions easy. New prescriptions can be ordered through a simple process and refills and transfers from other pharmacies are even easier.

New Prescriptions

The first step in the process is to create an account online which is just a matter of registering simple information such as name, address and an email address. If you’ve already filled a prescription through CVS/pharmacy within the past year, you can then immediately sign up for the Prescription Management program as well which will give you access to your prescription history online. As a security measure to protect sensitive pharmacy records, some data must be entered from a previously filled prescription. If you don’t yet have a CVS prescription on record, you’ll have to wait until you have one in order to subscribe to Prescription Management. There is a one-time, two-step identity verification process to ensure that only you can view your sensitive prescription records. For those who choose not to sign up for Prescription Management, there is an option to purchase prescription medications by shopping as a guest.

Once initial account creation has been accomplished, there are a couple of options for submitting a new prescription, depending on whether or not you have a paper prescription from your doctor. In either case, a very brief online form must be completed indicating the name and dosage of the medication and the prescriber’s name and phone number. If you have a paper prescription, you’ll need to mail it to CVS/pharmacy along with the order number that is created during the online process. If you don’t have a written prescription, CVS/pharmacy will contact the prescriber to verify the prescription request and mail it to you.

Standard shipping of prescription medications is free and can be expected to take 5-10 days to arrive. Faster shipping methods are available at additional cost.

Prescription Refills

Refilling an existing CVS/pharmacy prescription couldn’t be much easier. You can do so simply by entering some very basic information from the prescription bottle or, even more simply, by selecting an existing prescription from your Prescription Management information. Either way, you can choose to pick up the order at any designated CVS/pharmacy store or to have it mailed to you.

Automatic reminders to order prescription renewals can be set up in the Prescription Management system. CVS/pharmacy will send a refill reminder about two days before the renewal order is due. There’s also an in-store only refill option called ReadyFill. With this program, maintenance prescriptions are refilled automatically without the customer having to place an order. CVS/pharmacy will call when prescriptions are ready to be picked up. If the prescription is out of refills, they’ll even contact the prescriber for a new prescription.

Prescription Transfers

Existing refillable prescriptions can be transferred to CVS/pharmacy online by entering the name, address and phone number of the pharmacy that currently holds the prescription as well as the medication name and the prescription number. When making such a transfer, you’ll have the option of picking up the medication at any designated CVS/pharmacy location or of having it shipped. Consolidating prescriptions at a single pharmacy is easier to keep track of than multiple ones but more importantly, allows the pharmacy to alert you to potential drug interactions with other medications.

Over-the-Counter Products

Beyond their comprehensive selection of prescription medications, CVS/pharmacy offers a vast array of over-the-counter medications, supplements and other health products as well. The Medicine Cabinet is a handy reference, categorized by condition, which addresses minor medical issues that don’t require a physician’s intervention. Groupings include cough, cold and flu, ear and eye care, stomach and allergy remedies, home tests and many others. While notably less extensive than one would expect to see in medical equipment specialty store, there’s also a respectable selection of medical equipment including braces and supports, rehabilitation supplies, items for care of diabetes and respiratory ailments and home tests.

A wide variety of nutritional supplements for specific medical conditions or for general well being is available. There are vitamins, minerals and herbal products as well as special categories for weight loss and sports nutrition. There’s also a seemingly endless selection of personal care products for hygiene, skin care and beauty.

Health Education

There’s a lot more to promoting health than dispensing drugs and CVS/pharmacy takes the obligation seriously. Their website features a Health Information Center to learn about a wide variety of healthcare issues including categories for women, men and children and special considerations during pregnancy and for older folks. It includes a medical library with over 7,000 articles, information about tests and procedures, book reviews and alternative healthcare information.

CVS/pharmacy’s Drug Information Center gives detailed information about specific medications including how and when they are indicated as well as side effects and precautions. The feature is searchable by entering drug name or by using an indexed, alphabetical listing. It also has a drug interaction checker to see how a given medication may interact with other prescription or over-the-counter medications, dietary and herbal supplements or even foods.

Ease of Use

The CVS/pharmacy website contains a wealth of information but if that information is difficult to find, it isn’t of much value. The site truly excels in that regard. Just about any subject or feature is accessible via a number of routes so customers don’t have to think like a web designer to find what they’re looking for. Information can be found by entering subjects into strategically positioned search boxes, by dropdown lists, and any number of ways to categorize subjects.

The same ease of use goes for the prescription ordering process as well. CVS/pharmacy has made every effort to facilitate any ordering and delivery option that the customer may prefer. Further, the online Prescription Management system makes a customer’s prescription history available anywhere and refill ordering even easier.

There are a couple of savings plans that can be of value to many customers. The CVS/pharmacy Health Savings Pass costs $10.00 per year per person and makes over 400 generic prescriptions available for just $9.99 for a 90-day supply. It also provides a 10% discount at CVS/pharmacy’s Minute Clinics which are available at over 500 locations in 24 states. Finally, there’s the free ExtraCare rewards program which allows customers to earn 2% with every purchase online or in CVS/pharmacy stores plus an extra dollar for every two prescriptions filled. The accumulated earnings can be used for online or in-store purchases.

Help & Support

CVS/pharmacy provides customer support via toll-free telephone, email and the website's particularly extensive and useful FAQs. There’s a special email service called Ask the Pharmacist that allows customers to ask specific medication questions. It utilizes form driven email that ensures that the customer enters pertinent information such as a complete list of medications, supplements and health issues. With that, the questions can be answered comprehensively taking such factors as potential drug interactions into account. They also provide a web site optimized for use on mobile devices. It allows the customer to access prescription records, order refills or find a pharmacy while on the go.


CVS/pharmacy combines the best of the traditional neighborhood drug store with the broad selection of a mass merchandiser and the modern convenience of one of the best pharmacy websites. It’s a pretty tough combination to beat. To see how CVS/pharmacy stacks up against other top pharmacies, take a look at our reviews of drugstore.com and Walgreens.