As Amazon continues to ramp up its healthcare portfolio, the online behemoth rolled out RxPass last week, a flat fee drug program through which customers can buy an unlimited amount of commonly prescribed generic medications for $5 a month.
RxPass, launched by Amazon Pharmacy last Tuesday in most US states, requires an Amazon Prime membership (which is $139 per year in the US); the drug program is being offered as an add-on to Prime members for $5 a month.
Through RxPass, Prime members have access to medications that treat more than 80 common health conditions, including acid reflux, high blood pressure and anxiety. The list of available medicines includes about 50 generic drugs.
The program also offers 24/7 assistance provided by pharmacists or support staff.
Amazon says customers don’t need to use any insurance plan with RxPass.
As part of its healthcare expansion, Amazon launched Amazon Pharmacy in 2020 and a virtual clinic called Amazon Clinic in August. It also purchased primary care company One Medical in a mammoth $3.9 billion deal in July. Prior to that, in a major move, the online retail behemoth acquired online pharmacy retailer PillPack in 2018 for around $750 million and branded it Amazon PillPack.
According to John Love, vice president of Amazon Pharmacy, the aim of RxPass is to provide affordable access to commonly prescribed generic medications.
Love explained how there have not been many innovations in the pharmacy experience for customers for decades. “In many cases, customers are still finding out about pricing for their medications at the point they’re getting them, and it’s their responsibility to budget for them and then drive and pick them up. This is something we think Amazon can really help improve — bringing the low price, the affordability and the convenience to people’s medical needs,” he said.
He added, “We think this is going to be super valuable for Americans who have a chronic condition or those who might be taking two to three medications. With this specific offering, any eligible medications would all be for the single low flat fee of $5, and it’ll be delivered to their door.”
In addition to RxPass, Amazon also offers a Prime prescription savings benefit through which customers can get up to 80 percent off generic medications and up to a 40 percent discount on brand-name prescriptions at more than 60,000 participating pharmacies.
Amazon Pharmacy’s growing initiatives in the space, including RxPass and its prescription delivery and price-comparison site through Amazon PillPack, will be posing a threat to traditional drugstore giants like CVS Health Corp (CVS.N) and Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc (WBA.O).
Amazon’s growing healthcare push has seen the company incorporate telehealth, drug delivery, fitness trackers and cancer research in its portfolio in recent years.
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