Amazon.com is jumping into the pharmacy business with the launch of a new store, Amazon Pharmacy, and an Amazon Prime prescription savings benefit for members.
More than two years after Amazon bought online pharmacy PillPack, the retail giant has opened Amazon Pharmacy, which allows customers to complete a pharmacy transaction on their desktop or mobile device through the Amazon App. What’s more, Prime members receive free two-day delivery on orders. Using a secure pharmacy profile, customers can add their insurance information, manage prescriptions, and choose payment options before checking out.
“As more and more people look to complete everyday errands from home, pharmacy is an important and needed addition to the Amazon online store,” commented Doug Herrington, SVP of North American Consumer at Amazon. “PillPack has provided exceptional pharmacy service for individuals with chronic health conditions for over six years. Now, we’re expanding our pharmacy offering to Amazon.com, which will help more customers save time, save money, simplify their lives, and feel healthier.”
Additionally, Prime members can access savings on medications at Amazon Pharmacy when paying without insurance, as well as at over 50,000 other participating pharmacies nationwide. The Amazon Prime prescription savings benefit saves members up to 80% off generic and 40% off brand name medications when paying without insurance.
“We understand the importance of access to affordable medication, and we believe Prime members will find tremendous value with the new Amazon Prime prescription savings benefit,” said Jamil Ghani, vice president, Amazon Prime.
Prime members will have access to their prescription savings at checkout on Amazon Pharmacy. Before checking out customers can compare their insurance co-pay, the price without insurance, or the available savings with the new Prime prescription savings benefit to choose their lowest price option.
“Amazon will certainly have an ongoing impact regarding regularly fulfilled prescriptions,” Kevin Beasley, CIO, VAI, tells RIS. “Buying patterns, including for prescriptions, have shifted because of COVID-19. During and post-pandemic, certain customers might still prefer online and doorstep delivery versus in-store pickup. But for the customer that prefers same-day in-store pickup, existing pharmacies will have the advantage over Amazon. Overall, this could cause significant problems for smaller pharmacies, but it remains to be seen how successful Amazon's venture will be."
Like any drugstore, customers are able to add insurance information and ask their prescriber to send new or existing prescriptions directly to Amazon Pharmacy for fulfilment. Amazon is also offering online self-service help options combined with phone access to customer care pharmacists available 24/7 to answer questions about medications.
“We designed Amazon Pharmacy to put customers first – bringing Amazon’s customer obsession to an industry that can be inconvenient and confusing,” said TJ Parker, VP, Amazon Pharmacy. “We work hard behind the scenes to handle complications seamlessly so anyone who needs a prescription can understand their options, place their order for the lowest available price, and have their medication delivered quickly.”
“Amazon’s venture into pharmacy and healthcare proves there’s no vertical left untouched by e-commerce,” Chris Dessi, VP of Americas & Australia, Productsup, tells RIS. “Aside from accelerating e-commerce adoption, COVID-19 has reexamined the role of the consumer in healthcare. Brands and retailers have long understood that their business is consumer-driven. Now, with individuals advocating for their healthcare more and more, on-demand access to health providers and medications via apps and e-commerce sites will be paramount. Doorstep delivery of medications will be equally important in creating a satisfying customer experience.”