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By 15 October 2020 | Categories: news

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We like how Uber expanded their offerings into Uber Eats, offering meals, books and the ability to send stuff through Uber Connect. Now Uber Eats is venturing into a South African-first pharmacy offering locally. By teaming up with Medicare, users will be able to access over-the-counter medication (self-medication), including schedule 1 and 2 drugs, for delivery directly from the Uber Eats App. 

The partnership will utilise Medicare’s network of pharmacies across Johannesburg and Cape Town, to fulfil the orders. The visible locations will appear inside the Uber Eats app behind the pharmacy banner, or accessible by searching for “Medicare”.

Medication made easy

With various convenience goods already sold by Medicare via the Uber Eats marketplace, this extended partnership significantly increases access to medication to those who need it most, without any risk of leaving the safety of their homes. 

These steps will see pharmaceutical items like Genpayne, ACC200 or Corenza C and other medicines available over-the-counter at pharmacies, available for delivery via the Uber Eats app. “We strongly believe in reinventing pharmacy, and thanks to this partnership with Uber Eats this is made possible. Getting the medication South Africans need, when they need it, without the risk of leaving their home is just the beginning as we continue to explore how best we can bring access, convenience and reliability in our everyday needs.” says Tim Knapp, CEO at Medicare. 

This partnership requires no physical contact with an attending pharmacist, however, should a user need further assistance with the available medication, a pharmacist is just a telephone call away, Uber believes. Before any order is prepped and dispatched, the user will need  to provide personal details including their full name, address and contact number as required by law. Upon delivery, the individual accepting the medication will need to provide a form of identification.  

The partnership will utilise Medicare’s network of pharmacies across Johannesburg and Cape Town, to fulfil the orders. The visible locations will appear inside the Uber Eats app behind the pharmacy banner, or accessible by searching for “Medicare”. 

“Seeing how quickly locals adopted an online platform, allowed us the opportunity to significantly scale our offerings to cater for more than just food, moving to just about anything that one might need to live comfortably at home,” says Shane Austin, GM of Uber Eats in Sub Saharan Africa. 

A redesigned experience

Over-the-counter medication isn’t the only new add-on - as Uber Eats continues to grow and scale, so too do the options available to users. Several new categories outside of just food delivery, are now available in the newly launched easy-to-find shortcuts, including cuisines and new merchants. Shortcuts give users instant access to their favourite cuisines and new merchants like grocery stores, butchers, retailers like Game and Exclusive Books, pet supply stores such as Absolute Pets, and more.

Uber Eats states during October, the app will continue to roll out new and enhanced features, including updated tailored recommendations. Austin explains, “The more you order, the more tailored our recommendations, so you’ll spend less time choosing and more time eating. When you’re looking to discover a new favourite, you’ll see curated picks for you, like Hidden Gems in your neighbourhood, and Family Favourites with food bundles to feed the entire crew.”

Group ordering is also set to be inaugurated later this month, which will allow users to order from multiple restaurants in one single order. While the app has always provided unique flavour and cuisine filters, new categories have been added to further curate the experience by offering a more streamlined approach to ordering. With so many options, the app’s map has been enhanced to show which restaurants offer pick-up while showing all restaurants available and their reviews, making it easier to decide where to order. 

Growth of GroCos 

With more at-home deliveries for everyday essentials, Uber Eats emphasised its efforts in growing the number and diversity of grocery, retail and convenience merchants available via the app.

In South Africa, the app reports couriers completing over 900 000 km in just grocery deliveries. That’s about 23 trips around the world to get consumers their daily must-haves such as bread and full cream milk (which were the most popular grocery items ordered). 

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