Rite Aid Site Plays Catch-Up, Adds Online Prescription Refills Function

The online battle between the nation's top pharmaceutical E-Commerce players—including CVS, Walgreens and Rite Aid, along with Wal-Mart and Costco—had its latest volley Monday (Aug. 3) when Rite Aid announced its ability to now handle prescription refills online. How significant this move is, however, is unclear as almost all of the major pharma e-tail sites already had such capability. Rite-Aid spokesperson Cheryl Slavinsky wouldn't say if the Number 3 drugstore chain is playing online catch. "We can't really compare. Some of our competitors have courtesy refills and some don't. We all offer something a little bit different," she said.

But Forrester Retail Analyst Sucharita Mulpuru wasn't quite as circumspect. "This does seem to be very established with the other retailers so I’m not sure why this is a big deal," Mulpuru said. "The bigger issue is why people don’t use this feature that much. I think it has a lot to do with the fact that doctors aren’t particularly efficient either and still hand write prescriptions often."