Table of Contents
Written By: Laura Larimer
Page Reviewed / Updated – 26/01/2021

Now more than ever, seniors and caregivers are looking for ways to get their medications without leaving home. Various remote pharmacies have become quite popular, and prescription deliveries that include presorted medication doses are particularly appealing. With 54% of adults 65 and older taking four or more prescription drugs, it’s no wonder that seniors are interested in limiting trips to the pharmacy and benefiting from accurate pill sorting that’s already done for them. 

Those looking into a presorted pill delivery option for their maintenance (daily) medications may run into issues with finding relevant information. Most of these companies have almost identical service models due in part to the smallness and newness of this pharmacy services niche. Differences often come down to customer service policies and payment options, some of which can have a big impact on satisfaction but which can be difficult to find information on at the beginning of your search. 

Taking these challenges into consideration, we researched and ranked the best prescription delivery companies on the market, investigating the nuances in service. Our analysis revealed that PillPack, ExactCare, and Accupac were the best companies overall, but all companies scored within a narrow point spread, emphasizing the fact that companies in this market have much in common. We also found that all companies offered free delivery and packaging services and that medication copays should be similar across brands.

The Best Prescription Delivery Companies

  1. PillPack: 6.4
  2. ExactCare: 6.2
  3. Accupac: 5.9
  4. DivvyDOSE: 5.8
  5. CVS SimpleDose: 5.7
  6. SimpleMeds: 5.3

An Overview of Our Ranking Methodology

Our rankings of these companies rely on the five core metrics below, each of which made up a percentage of every company’s final score:

  • Coverage (25%): Which insurance companies and which states does this company serve? Does this company work with those who are uninsured, too?
  • Ease of Access (25%): How many options do customers have for accessing their account and/or making contact with customer service when they need help?
  • Reviews (25%): How many stars does the average customer give this company on popular review websites like Google, Trustpilot, and the Better Business Bureau (BBB)? 
  • Transparency (15%): How easy it is to find answers to common questions on the company’s website? Is the information accurate and detailed?
  • Beneficial Extras Score (10%):  Does this company have something special to offer, such as an unusual and very beneficial policy, service, or item accessory?

The Top 6 Prescription Delivery Services

Company Overall Score Overall Rank Coverage Score Ease of Access Score Reviews Score Transparency Score Beneficial Extras Score
PillPack 6.4 1 8 5 6 7.5 5
ExactCare 6.2 2 7 7 5.4 7 3
Accupac 5.9 3 5 5.5 8.2 6 3
DivvyDOSE 5.8 5 5 6 6 7 5
CVS SimpleDose 5.7 4 7 8 3.6 5.5 2
Simple Meds 5.3 6 9 0 8 7 0
Did you know?

Prescription delivery services that presort pills can usually only fill 30-day supplies of medications. If you have a 90-day prescription length right now, your doctor can write you a new 30-day prescription. Note that 90-day prescriptions usually include a “bulk” discount, so expect your copay to rise slightly.

Pill Pack

PillPack ranked best overall of the companies we looked at, scoring a total of 6.4 out of a possible 10 points. This company ranked in first place in both Transparency and Beneficial Extras. Overall, this brand scored above average in all metrics except for Ease of Access, for which it earned just slightly below average score due to incomplete app offerings and the lack of a 24/7 phone line. 

How PillPack Scored

Coverage: 8/10

Ranking in second place with 8/10 points for the coverage metric, PillPack is a very accessible choice for people in most locations and with most insurance plans. Serving both insured and uninsured customers, PillPack has a policy of helping patients find discounts whenever possible. Those in Hawaii cannot use this brand due to location restrictions, however. The only insurance plans that PillPack expressly does not serve are Medicaid plans in some states. Seniors should always ask about their particular insurance plan, since some other insurance exceptions may exist as well.

Ease of Access: 5/10

PillPack came in at fifth place for this category with 5/10 points. Customers can access customer service and account details via the Apple app, the online login page on any web browser, or via the phone during normal business hours. Although it does not have a true 24/7 phone line, PillPack will return urgent after-hours calls. This company does not offer an Android app or any in-person service options, and it came in at 5th place for its overall accessibility.

Reviews: 6/10

PillPack came in third place for reviews, tying with DivvyDOSE. Its average review across Google, the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and Trustpilot was 3/5 stars. Overall, reviews were most positive on Google and least positive on Trustpilot. With over 540 different reviews on these three platforms, this company was the second-most frequently reviewed company in our rankings, topped only by the national chain CVS. Positive reviews mention convenience, while negative reviews tend to mention a difficult setup process.

Transparency: 7.5/10

PillPack’s score for Transparency was the best out of all of the companies we reviewed. Scoring 0.5 points higher than its nearest competitors, PillPack excels by offering a robust “help section” full of informative articles that explain many facets of the company’s policies. Overall, PillPack’s sales materials appear easy to understand and free of errors. Most forms of contact information are easy to find, although a physical address for this company is not listed. Since PillPack has no physical location that customers can visit, the lack of address is a minor issue.

Beneficial Extras: 5/10

The Beneficial Extras category covers unusual items and policies, so most companies struggled to gain more than a few of the ten possible points. PillPack impresses by gaining 5/10 points and tying for first place along with DivvyDOSE. PillPack stood out because it’s the only company to offer accessories, a travel case plus a premium plastic countertop dispenser ($15). This brand also doesn’t require prescriptions for its OTC items, making its setup process convenient for the average person who takes supplements.

A Snapshot of PillPack’s History: 

  • Started: 2013 
  • Founders: T. J. Parker and Elliot Cohen
  • Headquarters:  Manchester, New Hampshire
  • Related Companies: Amazon Pharmacy
  • Standout Feature: Operates its business on proprietary software called Pharmacy OS

What You Should Know About PillPack 

Pros 

This company can be said to have propelled multi-dose pill packaging and national delivery into the mainstream. Similar services existed before PillPack, but none invested so much energy in advertising and informing the public of their home delivery options. PillPack’s reputation got an extra boost when the technology giant Amazon acquired it as an independently operated subsidiary in 2018. 

Cons

In the past, PillPack allegedly used aggressive cold-calling that garnered the brand negative press. This brand has also received significant pushback from within its own industry. Notably, the Pharmacy Benefits Manager (PBM) Surescripts has been uncooperative with PillPack regarding the sharing of patient records that are vital for safe dispensing. Most issues seem to have resolved now, but PillPack’s relationship with other companies in the industry was contentious at first.

ExactCare

ExactCare, ranking in second place among the top six companies, shone as an all-around safe selection. While it did not attain first place in any one category, it did rank highly in all metrics, being the only brand to attain second place in three categories: Ease of Access, Transparency, and Extra Services.  ExactCare struggled the most in the Reviews metric, ranking 4th place due to its lukewarm scores on Google Reviews and the Better Business Bureau. 

How ExactCare Scored

Coverage: 7/10

ExactCare ranked in third place along with CVS for its coverage. With 7/10 points, this company is fairly accessible but has a few coverage exclusions. Notably, ExactCare excludes VA Health Plans and Humana plans. The Humana exclusion is the biggest cost concern for seniors since Humana has many Medicare Part C and D plans. ExactCare’s geographic coverage is strong, with no states excluded from the company’s shipment range. ExactCare can work with both insured and cash-pay patients.

Ease of Access: 7/10

ExactCare made second place in the rankings for its Ease of Access. Although it lacks a 24/7 phone line, it has many other options for accessing customer service and account details. Seniors can log in on a traditional web browser or on any Android or Apple devices. Perhaps the best part of this company’s accessibility is that seniors can have a company representative visit them in their homes to help them get set up with the company. This in-person option is phenomenal for many who like a personal touch in their pharmacy services.

Reviews: 5.4/10

With an average of 2.7/5 stars across platforms, this company ranked in fourth place for the Reviews metric. Between Google and the Better Business Bureau, there were 118 reviews of ExactCare. The majority of the reviews were available on Google. Trustpilot, another major review website, did not have an active profile for ExactCare. Reviews are mixed, with both positive and negative reviews citing customer service as being the reason for the rating.

Transparency: 7/10

This was one of three companies that came in with a score of 7 points for the second-ranking spot. ExactCare did well in terms of offering a great Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section, but it did not have long or extremely detailed help articles to supplement that brief section. Videos, visuals, and available contact information all contribute to greater customer understanding of the services provided. This company did have one major omission on its website since it did not list its insurance exclusions online. Customers who want to know about insurance need to call.

Beneficial Extras: 3/10

ExactCare attained second place along with Accupac with its 3/10 points. This company had one beneficial policy that’s somewhat unusual: it does not require a prescription for customers to get over the counter (OTC) items in its packets. ExactCare doesn’t offer any money-back back guarantees, rewards programs, or storage accessories, so the company didn’t earn points in those categories.

A Snapshot of ExactCare’s History:

  • Started: 2009
  • Founder: Dale M. Wollschleger
  • Headquarters:  Valley View, OH
  • Related Companies: NA
  • Standout Feature: Prioritizes in-home consultations when possible 

What You Should Know About ExactCare 

Pros 

ExactCare’s growth has been well-documented and discussed in business circles over the past 10+ years. Its founder and CEO, Dale Wollschleger, has been featured positively multiple times in the publication Crain’s Cleveland Business. ExactCare has a reputation for adapting and even expanding during hard times. It’s also respected for its ability to partner with other healthcare companies such as home health agencies and managed care organizations.

Cons 

During its early days, ExactCare’s sales plans may have led the company to pursue customers that didn’t truly need the service. This early overextension resulted in unimpressed customers that quickly returned to their original pharmacies. ExactCare’s leadership has been open about its growth pattern and the ways that it has had to change its business in order to truly serve the patients’ needs first.

Accupac

Accupac ranked as the third-best prescription delivery company out of the top six included in our ranking. This service, which is offered through Accuserv Pharmacy, performed best in the Reviews metric, ranking 1st in that area. It also did well in Extra Services, ranking in second place along with ExactCare thanks to the fact that its OTC items don’t need their own prescriptions. Accupac did have a below-average score in Coverage, receiving just half of the possible points in that metric. 

How Accupac Scored

Coverage: 5/10

With 5/10 points, Accupac ranked fourth in Coverage along with DivvyDOSE. Accupac’s geographic coverage is spotty. It is not licensed to ship to approximately 15 states. Seniors can enquire about their state over the phone. This company also has some coverage gaps when it comes to insurance, not having a contract with Humana, United HealthCare, or OptumRx. Accupac can serve those who are uninsured. Those who are seeking financial assistance can email the company to learn about their discount options.

Ease of Access: 5.5/10

Mobile apps and phone calls during normal business hours are the best ways to access Accupac account details or make changes to the account. The app is available on both Android and Apple devices. Accupac does not offer a regular web login option. It also does not have a 24/7 phone line, although it will call customers back for urgent matters after-hours. Accupac’s parent company Accuserv pharmacy has one physical location in Irwin, Pennsylvania, but for most patients, this location will not be a practical way of contacting the company in person. Only two companies scored lower than Accupac on Ease of Access.

Reviews: 8.2/10

Accupac had the highest proportion of five-star reviews out of all of the companies we reviewed. Its average review score was 4.1/5 stars. Accupac reviews can be found on the Google business profile of its parent company, Accuserv Pharmacy. With just twenty-two reviews, this company does have considerably fewer reviews than most competitors have.

Transparency: 6/10

With 6/10 points, Accupac tied for third place with CVS in this metric. The company provides good contact information and an FAQ section that answers many questions, and its visuals and videos are informative. Information on the Accupac site does tend to be “bite-sized,” so customers who want an in-depth review of the brand’s policies will need to call for more information. This company had issues with missing information on its website since it did not disclose its numerous shipping exclusions nor provide a full list of excluded insurance companies.

Beneficial Extras: 3/10

In this section, Accupac tied with ExactCare for second place because it offers over-the-counter items without requiring patients to go through the trouble of getting prescriptions written. Many similar companies do require such prescriptions, though they are not legally necessary. 3/10 points may seem low, but the highest score in the whole metric was only 5/10.

A Snapshot of Accupac’s History:

  • Started: 2015
  • Founder: Marvin Sheffler
  • Headquarters: Irwin, Pennsylvania
  • Related Companies: Accuserv Pharmacy
  • Standout Feature: Accuserv Pharmacy (parent company) has a retail pharmacy location

What You Should Know About Accupac

Pros 

This brand’s reputation seems to be strongest within Irwin, the town in which Accurserv has a storefront. Virtually all reviews of this company that can be found online appear to be made by local customers. The company has received relatively little media coverage but is generally regarded as professional and friendly. 

Cons 

In 2018, Accuserv Pharmacy, the company that runs the Accupac service, had to pay $100,000 in civil penalties due to a lawsuit over record-keeping errors. The penalties were specifically focused on the handling of highly regulated narcotics, which the Accupac side of the business does not handle. However, it’s important for potential customers to be aware that this was a past issue that was legally addressed. The coverage of this penalty is one of the few examples of media coverage of Accuserv.

DivvyDOSE

DivvyDOSE came in at fourth place out of the top six companies with a score that was less than one point below that of the leading company. This brand excelled in the Beneficial Extras metric, earning an impressive 5/10 points in that difficult category thanks to its unique “Happiness Guarantee” as well as to its user-friendly policy on handling OTC medications. The company tied with Accupac for fourth place in Coverage, exhibiting some limitations on both shipping and insurance types. 

How DivvyDOSE Scored

Coverage: 5/10

DivvyDOSE ranked in fourth place in coverage along with Accupac, and it has a score of 5/10 points. This pharmacy had almost perfect geographic coverage, with Delaware being the only excluded state. DivvyDOSE does not take Humana customers and it also does not work with uninsured customers. Note that this company’s exclusion of Humana extends to the Limited Income Newly Eligible Transition (LI NET) Program that Humana operates. This somewhat uncommon form of emergency medication coverage is for low-income Medicare beneficiaries.

Ease of Access: 6/10

With 6/10 points, DivvyDOSE ranked in third place for the Ease of Access. This brand is one of only two that provides truly 24/7 phone lines. It also offers customers both web access and app access to their own accounts, making managing payments and other details easy. Unfortunately, the app is currently only available on Apple devices, so Android users will be limited in their digital access. DivvyDOSE is a closed-door pharmacy, meaning it has no physical locations or in-person service of any kind.

Reviews: 6/10

This brand ranked in third place along with PillPack for Reviews, scoring 6/10 points. DivvyDOSE’s average star rating was 3/5 stars. As a relatively small company, DivvyDOSE only had 52 reviews, and all of those reviews were on its Google Business profile. Good timing on deliveries comes up frequently in positive reviews. The good attitude of customer service also comes up frequently. Errors with medication renewals and issues with insurance tend to come up in reviews that have fewer stars.

Transparency: 7/10

DivvyDOSE scored 7/10 points in Transparency, ranking in second place along with three other companies that received identical scores. DivvyDOSE did well in providing a short FAQ section as well as a few sections with medium-length descriptions of services. DivvyDOSE was also remarkably clear regarding its location limitations. However, this brand did have some inaccuracies on its website. Notably, the website says that DivvyDOSE accepts “all major health insurance plans”. In reality, DivvyDOSE cannot offer its services to those with Humana plans, and Humana is a Fortune 500 insurance company that certainly qualifies as a major provider.

Beneficial Extras: 5/10

DivvyDOSE tied for first place with PillPack in this category, scoring 5/10 points and performing well thanks to its generous refund policy. While other companies may occasionally issue refunds if mistakes are made, this is the only company that has a well-defined refund policy based on customer happiness. Customers who are unhappy with their delivery can get twice their out of pocket costs back within the first 30 days of enrolling.

A Snapshot of DivvyDOSE’s History:

  • Started: 2014
  • Founders: Arvind Movva
  • Headquarters: Moline, Illinois
  • Related Companies: Divvymed, LLC
  • Standout Feature: Company was founded by a second-generation medical doctor

What You Should Know About DivvyDOSE 

Pros 

DivvyDOSE has been the focus of a modest amount of press since its start in 2014. Articles have been published in mostly regional outlets, though the company also was mentioned in Forbes in 2020. Recently DivvyDOSE has made waves as one of a few companies implementing a new price transparency tool from the PBM Surescripts. This tool enables DivvyDOSE to more easily and quickly find solutions that will make medication affordable. 

Cons 

Divvymed LLC, the parent company of DivvyDOSE, has recently settled in a class-action lawsuit due to allegations of unlawful robocalling. The settlement was for $750,000. While not related to dispensing accuracy or other crucial parts of the pharmacy’s effectiveness, this lawsuit settlement may concern some seniors. Additionally, this brand is known for being the only one that currently requires an unusual prescription refill length of 28 days instead of 30. This difference can lead to one extra copay per year.

CVS SimpleDose

CVS SimpleDOSE, a program offered by the national CVS chain of pharmacies, came in at fifth place in the top six companies. This program was strongest in Ease of Access, earning the highest score in that metric because it offers its customers many convenient ways to monitor and make changes to their accounts. Customers can even access customer service in person with this brand, a rare form of access. The CVS brand did come in at last place for reviews, receiving a score that was almost three points below average when compared to other brands. 

How CVS SimpleDose Scored

Coverage: 7/10

CVS ranked in third place along with ExactCare in the coverage metric. With 7/10 points, this brand has some exclusions but offers great coverage overall. As an established national pharmacy chain, CVS can fill prescriptions for practically any insurance and can also work with the uninsured. CVS’s greatest coverage limitations are geographic. Some zip codes cannot receive shipments of CVS SimpleDose. The company website does not specify a full list of excluded zip codes, so customers must inquire on an individual basis. Getting help finding discounts on drugs from CVS may be available in many locations but is not guaranteed.

Ease of Access: 8/10

CVS ranked best in this category with an impressive 8/10 points. Web access and apps on Android and Apple devices make it digitally accessible. This is the only brand that has numerous locations nationwide, making it perfect for those who like the option of an in-person experience. Not all CVS locations have a 24/7 phone line or an after-hours call-back option, so CVS did not score perfectly on those submetrics.

Reviews: 3.6/10

CVS ranked in fifth (last) place for Reviews. On the typical review scale of 1-5 stars, this brand had a score of 1.8 on average. The CVS brand had reviews on all major review platforms including Google profiles, Trustpilot, and the BBB. We gathered reviews from all three places, with the Google profile reviews coming from the brand’s corporate headquarters in Woonsocket, RI. Because it is such a large and well-known corporation, CVS locations have many thousands more reviews than its competitors do. However, virtually all CVS reviews are about in-store service at specific locations, rather than about the SimpleDose program.

Transparency: 5.5/10

CVS ranked in the last place on transparency, but its score was not drastically lower than the score of other brands. Four out of six brands came in at 7 points, and one came in at 7.5. CVS is just two points behind the its competitors. The CVS SimpleDose website did not contain any noticeable errors, but it was a bit short on information and visuals. There were no explanatory videos and no long articles to explain the service. The FAQ section was good quality, but for some questions, customers will need to call. CVS does not list a contact email specifically for the SimpleDose program.

Beneficial Extras: 2/10

CVS ranked in third place for Beneficial Extras, earning 2/10 points. It has a rewards program, a special service that no other company on our list shares. CVS has offered a generous rewards program for many years, and its main program applies to all merchandise in the stores. The rewards program specifically for prescriptions has a yearly limit of $50 back per year per person. It’s a valuable perk for those who would already be spending considerable money on their medications to be able to get something back. Signing up for the rewards can be complicated, but plentiful information on the program can be found here

A Snapshot of CVS History:

  • Started: 1963 (added SimpleDose in 2014) 
  • Founders: Stanley Goldstein, Sidney Goldstein, and Ralph Hoagland
  • Headquarters: Woonsocket, RI
  • Related Companies: CVS Caremark and Aetna
  • Standout Feature: Has thousands of retail locations 

What You Should Know About CVS SimpleDose

Pros 

The CVS SimpleDose program itself has received minimal coverage in business and mainstream health news. It comes up occasionally as an alternative to its highly publicized competitor, PillPack, but it isn’t extremely well known. However, CVS itself has had a reputation for convenience and stability for several decades and is a household name in the United States. It’s also now well known for its acquisition of the major health insurance company Aetna. 

Cons 

As an extremely large and diversified corporation, CVS has had its share of litigation and controversies. Recently, the company’s acquisition of Aetna brought up important antitrust questions that lead to a 2019 court ruling that CVS must divest of some of its prescription drug plan assets in order to preserve a competitive market for consumers. In 2011, CVS had to pay the US government $17.5 million in response to claims that CVS was overcharging Medicaid in multiple states.

Simple Meds

Simple Meds may have ranked in 6th place on our metric due to its simplified service model, but this company still shows an extremely strong performance in multiple categories. Simple Meds earned no points in Ease of Access due to the fact that it only interacts with customers over the phone during normal business hours and offers no web or mobile access. However, this brand has the distinction of being the only company to score 9 points in a metric, getting a 9/10 in coverage thanks to its broad distribution and strong relationship with insurance companies. Simple Meds also stood out for its great performance in reviews. 

How Simple Meds Scored

Coverage: 9/10

Simple Meds scored remarkably well on coverage, ranking in first place among competitors and scoring /10 points. This company has perfect geographic coverage, excluding no states from its service. When asked about insurance/PBM contracts, Simple Meds says that Express Scripts, a large PBM, is the only one that it doesn’t currently contract with. Moreover, Simple Meds can work with those who don’t have prescription coverage, and it has a stated policy of helping patients find solutions that fit their budgets when costs are high.

Ease of Access: 0/10

Simple Meds ranked in last place for Ease of Access, gaining zero points. This brand’s only line of communication is through over the phone during normal business hours. Web and app options are not available, nor is a 24/7 phone line or guaranteed after hours call-backs. The phone-only communication option may be a barrier for some, although many seniors prefer phone calls over internet communication.

Reviews: 8/10

Simple Meds did very well in this category, coming in second with an average review score of 4/5 points. This brand, being quite small, has only 7 reviews on its Google profile, and it has no reviews on the BBB or on Trustpilot. With such a small sample size, it is difficult to be sure how representative the score is of the overall customer satisfaction experience. Note that Simple Meds also has a few positive reviews on its Facebook profile, though these reviews were not part of our official metric calculations.

Transparency: 7/10

Simple Meds ranked at second place along with three other companies that received an identical score of 7/10 points. This company has a great FAQ section but few longer articles to explain the details of its service. It has exceptionally high-quality visuals and videos, however, so seniors can get a good idea of what’s offered in that way. This company lists all contact information online except for an email, which cannot be found but may be available upon request.

Beneficial Extras: 0/10

With 0/10 points, Simple Meds has last place in Beneficial Extras. This brand keeps its service basic. To sum up, the company has none of the following: refund guaranteed for unhappy customers, a rewards program, or storage accessories for pills. It also does require that included OTC items have a prescription, a factor that can be inconvenient.

A Snapshot of Simple Meds’ History:

  • Started: 2015
  • Founders: Paul and Lori Hogan
  • Headquarters: Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Related Companies: Home Instead Senior Care Franchise (same founders)
  • Unique Traits: Says its average customer takes 10 medications a day 

What You Should Know About Simple Meds 

Pros 

Simple Meds has been positively featured in both Yahoo! Finance and small pharmacy trade publications. Feature pieces have focused on innovations in packaging, safety protocols, and the general convenience of the service. The company’s reputation has also been positively impacted by its connection to the well-rated Home Instead Senior Care® franchise, which was founded by the same people. The two companies are not directly linked. 

Cons 

It’s extremely challenging to form a firm concept of Simple Meds’ reputation. There are only seven Google reviews, and other data sources and opinion pieces on the company are scarce. There’s an overall lack of negative press, but also a lack of much positive press. While it is a nationally licensed company that’s able to serve a wide customer base, it does appear to be a smaller operation than is average in the industry.

A Full Explanation of Our Metrics

The metrics we used to evaluate these companies were based on a concept of the “ideal” prescription delivery company- the company that would provide the most valuable and convenient service to the largest number of people. The fact that no company scored perfectly in any metric should not be of great concern to customers.  Instead, you should be concerned if a company scored especially low in a metric that you find most important to you. 

Coverage

This metric accounts for 25% of a company’s overall performance because problems with coverage can be so severe that they can prevent a customer from using the company in some cases. While evaluating company coverage, we look at issues with the following areas.

  • Major Insurers: We asked companies if there were any major insurance companies or Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) that they did not have a contract with. Companies lost points for every major insurer or PBM that considered them “out-of-network.”
  • Uninsured Patients: Not all insurance plans cover prescription drugs, so it’s fair to assume that many seniors pay out-of-pocket for some or all of their pills. Companies who work with uninsured patients received points for this sub-metric, while those who only work with covered patients received none.
  • Assistance Policies: For seniors on a tight budget, finding the best possible costs is important. We looked at whether or not companies have a stated policy of helping patients procure coupons or even reach out to nonprofits.
  • Geographic Coverage: All of the companies we reviewed are national companies in that they offer their services in the majority of states. However, companies lost points for excluding states, regions, or zip codes.

Ease of Access

Ease of Access measures how easy it is to get in touch with an expert from the company as well as how easy it is to access your account on your own to make changes or view account settings. This metric makes up 25% of the overall score.

  • Web and Mobile Access: It’s important for most families that there be some kind of digital access point for their account information. Does the company offer apps and a web login? What kind of device do you need to use the apps?
  • Phone Lines: All companies on our list have a phone line that’s available during normal business hours, but companies received extra points for having a 24/7 phone line. They also earned some points if they had a stated policy of returning after-hours calls. 
  • In-Person Service: Many prescription delivery services are “closed-door pharmacies,” meaning that they have no in-person services whatsoever. However, a few companies have storefronts or have representatives that can visit seniors in their homes to provide them a personal setup experience.

Reviews

Reviews can help you to gauge how popular or successful a service is. While not the only way to tell how a company is doing, it can definitely provide insight. This category made up 25% of the company’s score. 

  • Average Review Score: In order to arrive at a truly fair average, we combined all of the scores for all available ratings on the BBB, Trustpilot, and Google reviews. Some companies have multiple profiles on some platforms, and when this was the case we only used the profile that was associated with the corporate headquarters. 
  • Finer Details: the average score was the only point-earning factor here, but we also did make note of some other details. We tallied how many reviews each brand had, as well as which platforms had the most reviews. We also made note of trends in the comments left in reviews.

Transparency

Transparency measures how easy it is to find relevant information on a company on the company’s own website. This core metric accounted for 15% of the final score.

  • FAQs: Did the website offer an easy to read Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section? These sections help to answer our most basic questions.
  • Longer Articles: Did the company offer any in-depth explanations of its service, taking several paragraphs to address specific concerns? It can be helpful to dive deeper into some topics.
  • Errors: Did the website include obvious errors, contradictions, or omissions of vital details? We compared what was posted online with what we learned through phone calls and other sources. 
  • Videos and Visuals: Did the company offer photographs, drawings, or videos that helped customers to understand the service and the packaging? Many of us like to see what we’re getting before we commit. 
  • Contact Information: Did the company make it clear how to get in touch? We looked into how easy it was to find the physical address, email address, phone number, and an online “contact form”/chatbox.

Beneficial Extras

Some aspects of service don’t fit neatly into any major categories and aren’t technically “necessary,” but they still add convenience. This metric was an opportunity for companies to show their unique strengths, their something extra. Companies tended to only score points in one or two subcategories, and this core metric accounted for only 10% of the overall score. 

  • Refund Policy: Pharmacies all generally have some kind of refund policy for when they accidentally overcharge or are otherwise at fault, and in some cases this is required by law. However, few companies have a proactive refund policy that’s based not just on legal obligation but also on customer satisfaction. Having a money-back guarantee was uncommon, and companies that had it could earn extra points. 
  • Rewards: Did the company have a loyalty program? Rewards programs are common enough at grocery stores and coffee shops but are relatively uncommon for delivery pharmacies.
  • Accessories: Did the company have any special accessories that could make using the pill packages even better? In this category, we found that the only accessories currently on the market are special countertop cases and travel cases for the dose packages/rolls. 
  • OTC Policy: How easy did the company make it to order supplements and have them included in presorted packages? Some companies require a prescription even for regular strength over-the-counter items, but companies that didn’t have this extra requirement gained extra points.

Are Prescription Delivery Services Really Free?

Prescription delivery services are free- what’s the catch? That can often be the immediate reaction to something labeled as free that seems like it shouldn’t be. To be perfectly clear, the medication delivered by these services isn’t free; copays still apply. However, these companies don’t charge extra for the special packaging and the shipping, making their costs similar to the costs at a normal retail pharmacy. Below you can learn how copays and insurance work, and you can also learn about the potential these services have to save you money and trouble in the long run.

Typical Patients Costs for Using a Prescription Delivery Service

As mentioned above, no charge for shipping or packaging should be levied. If you do get such a charge from a company, you should seriously question it. However, you can still get charged for a few different things.

  • Copays: When you have insurance, you’ll often be paying a small fee, called a copay, for your prescriptions. This could be a flat fee or a percentage of the overall cost. Copays should be similar across companies, but variations will exist. With delivery companies, the copay will almost always be for 30-day prescriptions which do cost more, per pill, than the copays for 90-day prescriptions.
  • Uncovered Costs: You may have to pay the full price for some items. This can be true if an item is excluded from your insurance company’s formulary (list of pre-approved medications), if you are uninsured for prescription medications, or if you have to meet a deductible before your coverage kicks in. If you want to order a supplement or other OTC items, you’ll also usually have to pay full price. These items may be more costly with delivery services than they would be in a generic brand at a local store. 

Do Companies Charge Hidden Fees?

Generally speaking, companies do not charge any hidden fees for their services. The only somewhat “hidden” fee that we have encountered in this industry is that in rare cases a company may require an unusual prescription length (such as 28 instead of 30 days) that will necessitate one extra copay in the course of a year.  

Insurance coverage can be exceedingly complicated, so it’s a good idea to keep an eye on your monthly bills from the service you select. If a cost changes, you’ll want to know right away. Most companies will make an effort to notify you of any large changes, but if you notice a price change that you were not informed of you will want to reach out for details. Pricing mistakes do happen from time to time.

Did you know?

Original Medicare doesn’t automatically come with prescription drug coverage. If you are on Medicare and want to improve your access to affordable prescriptions, consider your options for enhancing your drug coverage. Medicare Part D and/or Part C can both offer solutions, and most prescription delivery services work with some or all of these plans.

Potential Savings for Patients and Their Families

When these services work as they are intended to, without mistakes or delays, they can produce all kinds of long-term savings for both seniors and caregivers. These immediate savings include:

  • Discounts: Some companies help patients work with nonprofits or manufacturers to use any available discounts or untapped funding. For low-income seniors, this extra help can significantly alter the cost of a prescription. 
  • Transportation: Many seniors don’t drive, and not all have access to quality public transportation. If you’re in a position where you’re paying for rides to the pharmacy multiple times a month, the savings on transportation can add up when you make the switch. If you’re living in a rural area and you or a caregiver have to drive far to your pharmacy, the gas savings can be similarly large.
  • Caregiving: Most seniors with paid caregivers can only afford them for a certain number of hours each week. In-home care often costs over $22 per hour according to Genworth Financial’s latest 2019 surveys. If a paid caregiver is currently sorting your medications, that’s costly time that could be spent on other pressing needs.

Long-Term Benefits of Using a Prescription Delivery Service

Not all savings are easy to label with a monthly dollar amount. That doesn’t mean they won’t produce significantly better financial results over time.

Caregiver Well-Being

The strain of being an unpaid family caregiver can be great. Unpaid caregivers, whether full-time or part-time, often don’t have much time to work a job outside the home, to exercise or relax, to look after their own finances, and to otherwise care for their own needs. Being overextended can produce excess expenses due to financial mistakes, lost time in the workforce, the need to rely on expensive conveniences like takeout, and more. It can also lead to deteriorating mental and physical health which may be poorly covered by insurance. Even one less task that a caregiver is responsible for can improve quality of life and financial savings, depending on the situation. 

Patient Health

Seniors and caregivers can easily make medication errors that have acute and/or chronic health consequences. Missing doses or overdosing leads to worse clinical outcomes. Past mistakes or a doctor mentioning that medication adherence needs to improve can make a patient frustrated or worried, too, which can exacerbate health conditions. Outsourcing the pill sorting task to skilled pharmacists can be a huge relief and can ultimately reduce costs associated with hospitalizations and extra doctor visits.

Did you know?

Some small pharmacies are now offering presorted medications to their local customers, providing an alternative to transferring out to a national company. Ask your local pharmacist if the pharmacy you already like is equipped with the necessary machinery for this service.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • Can I Get Controlled Substances in My Presorted Prescription Delivery?

    If you have a medical or psychiatric condition that requires you to take a controlled substance every day, you may still be able to get it in your presorted pill packets. Generally, substances that are classified as Schedule II drugs cannot be included due to their potential for abuse. Schedule III, IV, and V drugs are likely to be available without any problem if they are considered a daily medication, however. Medications that aren’t needed daily can usually be included in your box in a separate pill bottle.

  • Should I Be Concerned About Prescription Drug Theft If I Use a Prescription Delivery Service?

    There are certainly concerns of theft that come with getting your prescription delivered to your doorstep. The key to minimizing risk is discretion. Companies do their best by shipping in boxes that aren’t externally labeled as medication. However, you can do your part by not unnecessarily discussing medication shipments with those outside of your home and/or care team. Providing others too much information by accident may help a potential thief identify when a package will be sitting unprotected on your doorstep.

  • How Can I Look Up the Pharmacy License of a Prescription Delivery Service That I’m Interested In?

    Prescription delivery pharmacies that operate in multiple states should have a non-resident pharmacy license in each state they ship to. Most states have a searchable database of business licenses. You can type in the pharmacy name, select Pharmacy or Board of Pharmacy from a drop-down menu, and hit search. Some databases are more complex, but most are intuitive. In some cases, pharmacy license databases will be hosted on the state’s Board of Pharmacy website rather than among the other business licenses. 

    You can also ask the pharmacy for its license number, and then verify it for yourself. It’s an especially good idea to do this if you’re considering a new service that doesn’t have an established reputation. Make sure that the .gov license database that you’re searching provides information on facilities (businesses) rather than just for the licenses of individual pharmacists.

  • Can I Use a Traditional Mail-Order Pharmacy Instead of a Prescription Delivery Service that Presorts Pills?

    Although presorted pills are an incredibly useful option for many seniors, they are not a one-size-fits-all solution. For seniors who just take one or two daily medications, a more traditional mail-order pharmacy is a more cost-effective option. Traditional mail-order pharmacies, which are often accessible directly through your health insurance or PBM, can usually ship you 90-day supplies of your medication that end up being far cheaper, per pill, than the 30-day supplies that prescription delivery services must use.

  • What’s a PRN and Why Would I Want It In My Prescription Delivery Box?

    A PRN is an as-needed mediation. The abbreviation comes from the Latin phrase pro re nata. If not all of your prescriptions are daily medications, the pharmacy may refer to them as PRNs. When getting set up with a new prescription delivery company, make sure you discuss which PRN items you do or don’t currently need to be filled. You can get most PRNs in your box, including those that come in the form of creams, drops, inhalers, injections, and more. You can also choose to keep them at a local pharmacy. Compounded or highly regulated PRNs may not be available through delivery.

  • Is Getting Medication in the Mail Reliable?

    Generally speaking, getting medication shipped to you is a reliable process, and medications usually arrive before they are needed. Not all companies will use the same shipping services, so experiences vary. Things like natural disasters and other crises can interfere with package shipments from time to time, so it’s smart to think ahead about a backup plan in case of emergencies. If shipping interruptions are particularly worrying to you, you may wish to ask the company about its policies and typical customer experiences.

Additional Resources

Works Cited

  1. Kirzinger, Ashley; Neuman, Tricia; Cubanski, Juliette, et al. “Data Note: Prescription Drugs and Older Adults”. KFF,  9 August 2019, www.kff.org/health-reform/issue-brief/data-note-prescription-drugs-and-older-adults/#:~:text=Older%20adults%20are%20also%20more,18%2D29%20(7%25). Accessed 24 August 2020. 
  2. “Local Pharmacies and Owner Agree to Pay $100,000 to Resolve Alleged Violations of the Controlled Substances Act”. US DOJ, 9 August 2020, www.justice.gov/usao-wdpa/pr/local-pharmacies-and-owner-agree-pay-100000-resolve-alleged-violations-controlled. Accessed 25 August 2020.
  3. “Judge Decides CVS-Aetna Final Judgment is in the Public Interest and Grants United States’ Motion.” US DOJ, 4 September 2020, www.justice.gov/opa/pr/judge-decides-cvs-aetna-final-judgment-public-interest-and-grants-united-states-motion. Accessed 24 August 2020. 
  4.  “CVS Pharmacy Inc. Agrees to Pay $17.5 Million to Resolve False Prescription Billing Case.” US DOJ, 15 April 2011, www.justice.gov/opa/pr/cvs-pharmacy-inc-agrees-pay-175-million-resolve-false-prescription-billing-case. Accessed 25 August, 2020. 
  5.  “How to get prescription drug coverage.” Medicare, www.medicare.gov/drug-coverage-part-d/how-to-get-prescription-drug-coverage. Accessed 24 August 2020.  
  6. “‘Be cool’ and other advice from two-time Weatherhead Centurion ExactCare.” Crain’s Cleveland , 22 June 2018, https://www.crainscleveland.com/article/20180622/custom/166016/be-cool-and-other-advice-two-time-weatherhead-centurion-exactcare. Accessed 25 August, 2020.