Amazon is entering Amazon Pharmacy with a new offering in pharmacy, allowing customers in the United States to order prescription drugs for home delivery, including free delivery to Amazon Prime members is.
Amazon has been quietly building its pharmacy offering for years after intensifying internal discussions in 2017 and acquiring Pilpack in 2018. The pharmacy space in the US is notorious and competitive, and Amazon Pharmacy is built in part on Pillac’s infrastructure, including this one. 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 such as 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 home,” Amazon told TJ Parker, vice president of pharmacy, who previously co-founded PILAC. “Hard work has to be easy … There were many complications behind the scenes.”
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 can ask them questions such as whether they are pregnant, their date of birth, and their gender that was assigned at birth. This information is required by law to provide pharmacy care, and it helps pharmacists to confirm prescriptions.
Doctors can send prescriptions directly to Amazon pharmacy, or patients can request a transfer from an existing retailer such as CVS or Walgren. Amazon says there are tools to verify that a physician legitimately ordered each prescription, and to prevent possible fraud.
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 do not have Prime can receive free delivery within five days, or they can pay $ 5.99 to upgrade to two-day delivery.
The drugs on offer include a mix of generic and brand-name drugs, but Amazon will not deliver Schedule II controlled drugs, including most opioids. Amazon said it would screen for potentially problematic drug interactions for customers who are taking multiple drugs at once.
Amazon leverages its rich gamut of customer data to create advertising in a key pillar of its entire business, and shows customers personalized ads 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 experiences you have inside the pharmacy are different and the ones you have on Amazon.com,” Parker said.
Amazon Prime members have access to a pharmacy perk called “Prescription Savings Benefit”, which offers discounts of up to 80 percent on generic drugs and up to 40 percent on brand-name prescriptions.
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.