CVS ends multi-dose packaging offering SimpleDose

CVS's shuttered SimpleDose offering

CVS Pharmacy quietly shuttered its SimpleDose multi-dose packaging offering at the end of March. The offering, which competed with services like Amazon's PillPack, was ended quietly and abruptly, with no announcement or press release.

The SimpleDose website was updated to inform patients that they would not be able to have prescriptions filled beyond their current order. Multiple patients and caregivers on Reddit reported that they weren't notified of the cessation.

The company declined to be interviewed, but offered a statement.

"We continuously evaluate our health services strategy to ensure we’re offering our patients what they need, when they need it," they said. "This includes finding the best ways to support our pharmacy patients. As a result, we’ve made the difficult decision to discontinue our SimpleDose program and focus on other pharmacy offerings. Our pharmacy teams will help SimpleDose patients transfer their prescriptions to a convenient CVS Pharmacy location, or another pharmacy of their choice, to help ensure their pharmacy needs are met without delay."

SimpleDose allowed patients with complex medication regimens to have them not only filled by mail, but delivered in 30-day-supply boxes filled with individual doses and instructions about when to take them, at no additional cost to customers.

CVS launched a similar multi-dose offering some time in 2016, but started using the SimpleDose branding in mid-2020, filing for the trademark in 2019. For comparison, PillPack launched as a start-up in 2014 and was acquired by Amazon in 2018, leading to some public bristling between Amazon and retail pharmacies.

According to the website, it's not only the mail-order service that's being shut down, but multi-dose packaging in general at CVS retail pharmacies.

"SimpleDose is a unique service that can only be done in facilities with special equipment," the company wrote in a FAQ. "Unfortunately, CVS Pharmacy locations are not able to offer multi-dose packaging."