Amazon moves full-bore into pharmacy space


E-commerce giant unveils online pharmacy and savings for those without insurance

In its biggest move yet in the tech giant's steadily building but aggressive entrance into healthcare and the lucrative pharmacy market, Amazon today officially launched two new ways to help customers purchase their prescription medications. One is the unveiling of Amazon Pharmacy, which allows customers to complete an entire pharmacy transaction on their desktop or mobile device; all that's required is the Amazon app and a prescription from a licensed healthcare provider. With a secure pharmacy profile, customers can add insurance information, manage prescriptions and choose payment options, all before checking out. Prime members, Amazon says, will receive unlimited, free two-day delivery on Rx orders included with their membership.

The other new offering involves savings for those without healthcare insurance. Prime members will have access to deals on medications at Amazon Pharmacy if choosing to purchase without coverage, as well as at over 50,000 other participating pharmacies nationwide. The Amazon Prime prescription savings benefit can reportedly save members up to 80% off generic drugs and 40% off brand-name medications when paying without insurance. Prime members will have access to their Rx savings at checkout.

Today's moves follow other notable pharmacy plays by Amazon in the last couple years. In 2018, the company acquired mail-order pharmacy PillPack, now part of Amazon Pharmacy. It will continue to assist customers with chronic health conditions who are taking multiple daily medications. PillPack service provides pre-sorted dose packaging for everyday dispensing, In August, Horizon Healthcare Services and its pharmacy benefit manager, Prime Therapeutics, partnered with Amazon on offering Horizon members an integrated pharmacy experience with PillPack.

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