With Amazon Pharmacy, major customers in the United States can send their prescription medicines to their home for free.
Amazon Pharmacy is entering Amazon Pharmacy with a new offering at the pharmacy, allowing customers in the United States to order prescription drugs for home delivery, including free delivery to Amazon Prime members Is included.
Amazon has been quietly building its pharmacy offering for several years after finishing internal discussions in 2017 and acquiring Pilpack in 2018. The pharmacy space in the US is extremely complex and competitive, and Amazon Pharmacy is built in part on Pillac’s infrastructure, including its relationship with pharmacy software, fulfillment centers, and health plans.
Amazon’s biggest push into the $ 300 billion market on Tuesday, announced Amazon Pharmacy, and threatens the dominance of traditional pharmacies like CVS and Walgren, along with other large retailers providing pharmacy services, including Walmart.
For Amazon, the announcement is well-timed. Americans are relying on receiving their medications through the mail to avoid being exposed to coronovirus. This change can be permanent, as more people are learning about new ways to get medicine than before.
“We wanted to make it easier for people to get their medication, understand the cost, and deliver it at home,” said TJ Parker, Amazon’s vice president of pharmacy, who previously co-founded Pilpack. “The hard work is to make it easy … There were many complications behind the curtain.”
Amazon Prime Vice President Jamil Ghani said, “We think this new benefit will greatly benefit our members.” “This is relevant as people try to do more than the comfort and safety of their homes.”
how it works
Customers over the age of 18 will have access to pharmacy service this week in 45 states including Hawaii, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana and Minnesota. Amazon hopes to serve those states over time.
Amazon pharmacy will accept most forms of insurance, but can also offer savings for people without insurance. Customers can also use flexible spending accounts or health savings accounts to purchase prescriptions on the service.
Before customers first order the drug, the site may ask them questions such as whether they are pregnant, their date of birth, and their gender as they were assigned at birth. This information is required by law to provide pharmacy care, and it helps pharmacists do things like confirming prescriptions.
Doctors can send prescriptions directly to Amazon pharmacy, or patients can request a transfer from an existing retailer, such as CVS or Walgrain. Amazon says there are tools to verify that a physician legitimately ordered each prescription, and to prevent possible fraud.
Customers will be able to track the delivery of their prescriptions in the same way as they can with any other Amazon order.
Amazon Prime customers get two days of delivery for free, although shipping may take up to five days for the first time a customer orders, because it takes time to get the medicine. Customers who don’t have Prime can get free delivery within five days, or they can pay $ 5.99 to upgrade to two-day delivery.
The drugs on offer include a mixture of generic and brand-name drugs. Clients may receive birth control, as well as commonly prescribed medications such as insulin, triamcinolone steroid cream, metformin to control blood sugar, and sumatriptan for migraine.
Amazon will not distribute Schedule II controlled drugs, including most opioids, and it will not replace the Health and Personal Care store by offering vitamins and supplements.
Customers who have questions about their medications can reach any pharmacist or pharmacy technician at any time via online self-service or phone. Amazon will also screen for potentially problematic drug interactions for customers who are taking multiple drugs at once.
Parker of Amazon stated that the collection and collection of customer health information is in compliance with federal HIPAA regulations, and the company will not share pharmacy data without permission to advertisers or marketers.
Amazon has leveraged its rich gamut of customer data to create advertising in a key pillar of its overall business, and show customers personalized advertisements and offerdiscounts that they have purchased in the past. But when they are browsing a prescription order for a new pair of pants, consumers are likely to have a different set of expectations.
“The information and experience you have inside the pharmacy is different and different from the experience you have on Amazon.com,” Parker said.
Pilpack will continue to serve customers even after Amazon Pharmacy is launched. This is because Pilpack is designed for a different use case: it delivers the drug on a 30-day schedule to a population of patients who are more sick and aged than the average, and often require multiple prescriptions. is.
For Principal Users: A Prescription Savings Benefit
Amazon Prime members also have access to an additional pharmacy perk called “Prescription Savings Benefit”, which offers discounts of up to 80% on generic drugs and up to 40% on brand-name prescriptions.
Amazon negotiated the rebates through a relationship with Insight, which is part of Evernarth, a company that pulled out of a merger between Express Scripps and insurance giant Cigna in 2018. Insurers use pharmacy benefits such as Evernorth to negotiate drug-to-drug discounts. Manufacturer in exchange for better coverage.
Even for those who have health coverage, the prime price may still be cheaper than co-pay.
Even for people who have health coverage, Prime Prices can still be more affordable than co-pays – Amazon Parker said it happens “more often than people think” (although it Will not count towards a deduction).
Prime customers can get a Prescription Savings Benefit Card to use in more than 50,000 pharmacies, including CVS, Walmart, Rite Aid, and Walgren. This may be better for customers who are in urgent need of medication and cannot wait two days for delivery.
Parker of Amazon said the company currently has no brick-and-mortar pharmacies, and declined to speculate on future product offerings. But in the future, the company may add pharmacies to its chain of Whole Foods and Amazon Fresh stores.