Amazon today made online commerce waves again by announcing two new pharmacy offerings to help customers conveniently purchase their prescription medications.
Amazon Pharmacy, a new store on Amazon, allows customers to complete an entire pharmacy transaction on their desktop or mobile device through the Amazon App.
Using a secure pharmacy profile, customers can add their insurance information, manage prescriptions, and choose payment options before checking out.
Prime members receive unlimited, free two-day delivery on orders from Amazon Pharmacy included with their membership.
Orders are delivered in discreet packaging to the customer’s preferred address. Medications require a prescription from a licensed health care provider.
Amazon Pharmacy securely manages customer information in compliance with HIPAA, and does not share Protected Health Information outside of the pharmacy for advertising or marketing purposes without clear permission from the customer.
Amazon Pharmacy does not offer Schedule II controlled medications, which include most opioids.
Savings For Prime Members Without Prescription Drug Insurance
Also new today, in partnership with Inside Rx, 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. Prime members will have access to their prescription savings at checkout on Amazon Pharmacy.
Key Benefits Of New Amazon Pharmacy Offering
Research Medications and Order Confidently: The same browsing experience customers are familiar with from Amazon makes it easy to discover what medications – including branded and generic versions, and different forms or dosages – are available through 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.
Seamless Transactions: Customers can add insurance information and ask their prescriber to send new or existing prescriptions directly to Amazon Pharmacy for fulfilment. Purchase is as simple as confirming the request on the Amazon App or website.
Access Fully Digital, Personalized Quality Care: Customers have online self-service help options combined with phone access to customer care at any time. Friendly and knowledgeable pharmacists are 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, Vice President, Amazon Pharmacy.
Amazon Pharmacy is a NABP accredited digital pharmacy.
What About PillPack?
Amazon Pharmacy is an expansion of the Amazon PillPack service the company acquired in 2018. PillPack will continue to operate as a distinct service for customers managing multiple daily medications for chronic conditions.
Customers who take multiple daily medications and prefer pre-sorted dose packaging should continue to choose PillPack.
“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,” commented Doug Herrington, Senior Vice President of North American Consumer at Amazon.”
Prescription Drug Market In The U.S.
Prescription drugs are estimated to be a $350 billion plus business in 2020, showing continued growth, especially as the U.S. population grows older.
CVS and Walgreens own the lion share of the prescription drug market with nearly $200 billion in revenue from dispensed prescription medications in 2019.
Walmart is the top general merchandise or grocery retailer ranking 5th overall in 2019 with a prescription drug volume of $21.2 billion.
While some online pharmacies, such as the Amazon acquired PillPack, made small waves in the pharmacy business, the integration of the Amazon Pharmacy service into the standard online marketplace should accelerate the shift toward online purchases of prescription drugs.
With the COVID-19 pandemic going through a second wave in the U.S., it seems the introduction of Amazon Pharmacy during a time when many people reduce trips to stores may additionally help grow Amazon’s online pharmacy business grow even faster.
Indirect Marketplace Seller Opportunity
The launch of Amazon Pharmacy may also benefit indirectly third-party marketplace sellers that offer supplements and other non-prescription health and medical products on the platform.
As more consumers use Amazon for their prescription drugs, they may also look at the platform for other items that are often purchased at retail pharmacies such as Walgreens and CVS.
The Amazon Pharmacy could become game changer for online prescription drugs and introduce more consumers to purchasing all kinds of health and medical supplies online.