Amazon Pharmacy Launches to Deliver Prescription Drugs in the US
Amazon on Tuesday launched an online pharmacy to deliver prescription drugs in the United States, increasing competition with drug retailers such as Walgreens, CVS and Walmart.
Called Amazon Pharmacy, the new store allows customers to compare prices while shopping for medications on the company’s website or app. Buyers can toggle at checkout between their copay and an uninsured option, very lowered for members of your loyalty club principal.
The measure is based on the web retailer’s 2018 acquisition from Pillbox, which Amazon He said it will remain separate for customers who need pre-classified doses of various drugs.
For the past two years, Amazon has worked to secure more state licenses to ship prescriptions across the country, which had been an obstacle to its expansion in the drug supply chain, according to analyst notes at Jefferies Equity Research.
The company founded as an online bookstore has revolutionized industries such as retail, computing, and now potentially pharmaceuticals, drawing criticism of its size and power from labor groups and legislators along the way.
TJ Parker, CEO of PillPack and vice president of Amazon Pharmacy, said in a statement that the retailer aimed to bring “customer obsession into an industry that can be inconvenient and confusing.”
Amazon faces entrenched competition from Walgreens Boots Alliance, CVS Health, Walmart, Rite Aid, Kroger and others. Online drug order acceptance has been low, according to market research by JD Power.
If Prime members prefer to shop in person, Amazon said its discounts on non-insurance purchases apply at more than 50,000 traditional pharmacies, including those run by rivals. Inside Rx, a subsidiary of Cigna’s Evernorth manages that benefit, Amazon said.
Still, the pandemic can help get drug orders online. Electronic commerce has increased this year when governments told people to stay home to avoid infections of COVID-19, and Prime members, more than 150 million worldwide, may be willing to buy drugs online now that they are from Amazon.
The company said Prime subscribers get up to an 80 per cent discount on generic drugs and up to a 40 percent discount on brand-name drugs when they pay without insurance, as well as two-day delivery.
Amazon’s online pharmacy is not yet available in Illinois, Minnesota, Louisiana, Kentucky and Hawaii, a spokeswoman said.