I. The 7 Best Online Pharmacies of 2021

Amazon Pharmacy — Best for Insured Prescriptions
Amazon Pharmacy accepts insurance plans from most carriers and provides receipts and claims assistance in the event it’s unable to direct bill.

CVS — Best for Physician Consultations
CVS ensures its patients have access to the right advice about their condition and prescriptions by providing free physician consultations on-site.

Pill Pack — Best for Medication Management
Pill Pack is an Amazon-owned online pharmacy that provides free shipping across the United States. It packages your medication in individual packets for morning, noon, and evening.

Blink Health — Best for Local Pickup
Blink Health can fill prescriptions and have them prepared for pick up at a broad range of participating pharmacies across the United States — its network includes Walmart, Albertson’s, and Safeway.

Honeybee Health — Best for Generic Alternatives
Honeybee Health provides a variety of choices for clients, including generic alternatives, to help them find affordable prescriptions.

GeniusRx — Best for Affordable Prescriptions
GeniusRx’s membership program offers discounts on prescription medications.

Health Warehouse — Best for Over-the-Counter Medications
In addition to filling prescriptions, Health Warehouse offers shipping on an array of over-the-counter products, including diabetic supplies, pain medications, and digestive health products.

II. How We Chose the Best Online Pharmacies

When evaluating the best online pharmacies, we considered key features that ensure the safety of patients and the reliability of service, including NABP accreditation and shipping options. We also looked at whether insurance is accepted, and if these pharmacies supply generic alternatives, helping you find affordable prescription medications.

What communication methods are offered?

We considered if each pharmacy offers the opportunity to connect directly with a qualified pharmacist or physician and what method of communication is used. We prioritized pharmacies that use phone calls, live chat, or video chat to let you connect with a licensed expert. We also searched for online pharmacies with the best availability, including those that are open evenings and weekends.

What services are available?

When you order your prescriptions online, you want to know that you’re ordering from a pharmacy that has your health at heart. When considering which pharmacies to include in this list, we looked at those available to answer patient questions during nonbusiness hours and those that offer added services such as physician consultations and insurance direct billing. Additionally, we considered pharmacies with membership programs that let you access prescription medications at discounted prices.

What is the wait time?

Getting your prescriptions when you need them is important. That’s why we looked for pharmacies that offer a variety of shipping options, ranging from free nationwide shipping to priority overnight shipping. In addition to shipping options, we considered whether pharmacies process orders quickly to ensure customers receive their medications when they need them.

III. The Best Online Pharmacies of 2021

Amazon Pharmacy – Best for Insured Prescriptions

Amazon Pharmacy

Amazon Pharmacy features a user-friendly interface that allows clients from 45 states to order their prescriptions conveniently online. A licensed pharmacist is always on duty, helping patients understand their medications and the potential side effects they could cause. Amazon Pharmacy accepts insurance from most providers and offers a prescription discount program for members. Free shipping is available, and those who want to receive their prescriptions as quickly as possible can select two-day delivery for an additional $5.99.

Shipping priceAccepts insuranceFeatures
Free shipping (two-day delivery for Prime members, four- to five-day delivery for others)

Two-day delivery upgrade: $5.99 per shipment

Yes–NABP accredited
–Prescription discount program
–Pharmacist consultations available
–More features at Amazon Pharmacy

Pros and Cons of Amazon Pharmacy

Pros: 

  • Accepts insurance from multiple providers
  • Pharmacist consultations are available
  • Offers a prescription discount program

Cons: 

  • Not available in Hawaii, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, or Minnesota
  • Doesn’t offer physician consultations

What Are Customers Saying?

Amazon Pharmacy receives high ratings from its customers, with many expressing their satisfaction with its shipping times and the service received from their pharmacists.

 


 

CVS – Best for Physician Consultations

CVS

CVS offers a reliable online experience for its customers. When filling prescriptions, you can choose to speak with a licensed pharmacist or physician to discuss your treatment. Suppose you don’t have a prescription for the medication you need, such as birth control or antibiotics. In that case, you can consult online with one of the company’s licensed physicians and have your prescription written and sent directly to the pharmacist for dispensing. CVS accepts insurance payments from most providers and offers a membership program that includes a discount on medications. CVS offers free shipping on all pharmacy orders over $49.

Shipping priceAccepts insuranceFeatures
Free shipping on orders over $49Yes–NABP accredited
–Prescription discount program
–Pharmacist and physician consultations available
–More features at CVS

Pros and Cons of CVS

Pros: 

  • Available in all 50 states
  • Physician consultations are available
  • Offers free shipping

Cons: 

  • Doesn’t offer expedited or priority shipping
  • Weekend hours are limited

What Are Customers Saying?

Customers appreciate the reliability of CVS online pharmacies. One reviewer said, “CVS has provided a very dependable experience for pharmaceutical necessities through COVID-19 puts my mind at ease that I can trust both the company and the shipper.”

 


 

Pill Pack – Best for Medication Management

Pill Pack

Pill Pack is a full-service pharmacy that offers convenient medication packaging for clients with multiple prescriptions. Prescriptions are sorted by day and time and packaged individually, which is particularly helpful if you’re on multiple medications and supplements. Pill Pack offers a membership program that includes discounted medications, as well as pharmacist consultations. All Pill Pack orders include free shipping throughout the United States.

Shipping priceAccepts insuranceFeatures
Free shippingYes–NABP accredited
–Prescription discount program
–Pharmacist consultations available
–More features at Pill Pack

Pros and Cons of Pill Pack

Pros: 

  • Free shipping
  • Medication packaged to improve adherence
  • Accepts insurance from most carriers

Cons: 

  • Doesn’t offer physician consultations
  • No expedited or priority shipping options

What Are Customers Saying?

Customers love the convenience of receiving their prescriptions from Pill Pack. One customer said, “I have had nothing but great experiences with customer service. I love the ease and convenience of a mail-in service and so far they are much more reliable than any other prescription mailing service I used in the past.”

 


 

Blink Health – Best for Local Pickup

Blink Health

Blink Health facilitates doctor consultations if you don’t have access to the prescriptions you need and offers dispensing services if you already have a prescription from your doctor. A pharmacist is available to provide consultations at all times, and the pharmacy is open evenings and weekends, so you can meet with a pharmacist outside of typical business hours. Prescriptions can be delivered to your door or picked at one of Blink’s participating pharmacies across the United States. Shipping is free on all Blink Health orders.

Shipping priceAccepts insuranceFeatures
Free shippingYes–NABP accredited
–Prescription discount program
–Pharmacist consultations available
–More features at Blink Health

Pros and Cons of Blink Health

Pros: 

  • Free shipping
  • Physician consultations are available
  • Open evenings and weekends

Cons: 

  • No expedited or priority shipping options, medication is delivered in three to five business days
  • Doesn’t provide a clear list of accepted insurance carriers

What Are Customers Saying?

Blink Health’s customers love the experience this pharmacy offers from start to finish. One customer said, “My request was evaluated quickly. Prescription written and then sent to me very quickly. I then get updates on when my refill is available and sent again in a reasonable time. And to top it off shipping is free. Very good experience overall.”

 


 

Honeybee Health – Best for Generic Alternatives

HoneyBee

Honeybee Health provides convenient online prescription services and can ship Priority, ensuring you have the medications you need as quickly as possible. A pharmacist is on duty to provide consultations and advice, and the company offers a membership program that includes discounts on prescriptions. Unfortunately, Honeybee Health doesn’t accept insurance; however, you may be able to submit receipts for reimbursement. Honeybee Health offers multiple shipping options, including free USPS First Class shipping and $10 USPS Priority shipping.

Shipping priceAccepts insuranceFeatures
USPS First Class Shipping: Free

USPS Priority Shipping: $10

No–NABP accredited
–Prescription discount program
–Pharmacist consultations available
–More features at Honeybee Health

Pros and Cons of Honeybee Health

Pros: 

  • Priority shipping available
  • Offers a membership program that includes discounted medications

Cons: 

  • No physician on staff
  • Doesn’t accept insurance

What Are Customers Saying?

Customers appreciate the individualized, compassionate service they’ve received from the staff and pharmacists at Honeybee Health. One reviewer said, “Honey Bee was amazing. Kind, compassionate, and efficient. They helped me during a time when I thought I had no other option. Couldn’t thank them enough.”

 


 

GeniusRx – Best for Affordable Prescriptions

GeniusRx

GeniusRx offers discounted prescription medications and free delivery for every customer. It offers generic alternatives to most medications, passing the savings on to you. A pharmacist is available at all times to provide advice and answer questions, and the pharmacy is open most evenings as well as Saturdays. Unfortunately, insurance isn’t accepted. GeniusRx ships all prescription orders free of charge.

Shipping priceAccepts insuranceFeatures
Free shippingNo–NABP accredited
–Pharmacist consultations available
–More features at GeniusRx

Pros and Cons of GeniusRx

  • Pharmacist available to provide consultations
  • Open evenings
  • Large selection of generic alternatives

Cons: 

  • No priority or expedited shipping
  • Doesn’t accept insurance

What Are Customers Saying?

GeniusRx customers are pleased with the low prices they’ve paid and the good customer service the pharmacy provides. One customer provided a five-star review of this pharmacy, saying, “This was an exceptionally good deal for my prescription. I saved a lot of money … .”

 


 

Health Warehouse – Best for Over-the-Counter Medications

HealthWarehouse

Health Warehouse strives to make prescriptions affordable for Americans who don’t have insurance policies. It dispenses generic products whenever possible to keep prices low and offers a variety of shipping options, ensuring you can receive your prescriptions when you need them. These options include free shipping on over-the-counter orders, as well as standard, two-day, and overnight shipping. A pharmacist is available Monday through Friday to answer questions and provide treatment advice.

Shipping priceAccepts insuranceFeatures
Free shipping on over-the counter orders over $15

Signature confirmation (USPS/UPS): $3.95 per order

Standard shipping: $11.95 per order

Two-day shipping: $7.95 per order

Overnight shipping up to 20 pounds: $29.95 per order + $2.99 for each additional pound

Priority overnight shipping: $35.99 per order

No–NABP accredited
–Pharmacist consultations available
–More features at Health Warehouse

Pros and Cons of Health Warehouse

  • Offers a broad range of shipping options
  • Available in all 50 states
  • Stocks OTC products

Cons: 

  • Not open evenings or weekends
  • Doesn’t accept insurance

What Are Customers Saying?

Customers are pleased with the low prices offered by Health Warehouse. One customer said, “Been using Healthwarehouse for 10 years and have not had a problem. I also found their prices are lower than all the rest in our area.”

IV. What Do You Need to Know About Online Pharmacies?

Why should I choose an online pharmacy?

Online pharmacies offer convenience and low prices while ensuring you receive the medications you need.

What types of services do online pharmacies offer?

Online pharmacies fill prescriptions and ship them to you at home. In some cases, online pharmacies can connect you with a physician who’s able to write prescriptions online.

How do online pharmacies deliver medications?

While some online pharmacies offer pickup options at local pharmacies, most ship directly to your door through a carrier.

Do online pharmacies accept insurance?

Some online pharmacies can direct bill your insurance company; however, others don’t accept insurance at all. It’s important to check before completing your order.

Do I need a prescription to purchase medications from an online pharmacy?

Yes, online pharmacies are required to validate your prescription prior to dispensing medications.

Are online pharmacies accredited?

Online pharmacies are regulated by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP). Before ordering your prescriptions online, look for an NABP logo or accreditation on the pharmacy’s website.

V. Latest Online Pharmacy News

Current news about the pharmaceutical industry surrounds the industry’s sudden shift to online services, as well as the industry’s common struggles amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the release of COVID-19 vaccines.

  • The ASHP has recently updated guidelines to prevent the diversion of controlled substances amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The recent opening of Amazon Pharmacy and its acquisition of Pill Pack has made big waves in the online pharmaceutical industry. Amazon hopes to add convenience to an industry that’s “inconvenient and confusing,” according to Amazon Pharmacy Vice President TJ Parker.
  • Although vaccines aren’t available for purchase from online pharmacies, many online pharmacy giants, including CVS, have begun offering online booking options for the COVID-19 vaccine.

VI. Sources