Photo: Amazon Pharmacy via Businesswire
Amazon Pharmacy is offering its Prime members a new way to save money on their prescriptions by providing six-month supplies of medications for $6.
The new option is available to Amazon Prime members when they pay without insurance. Members can pay as little as $1 per month for select medications, including those for high blood pressure, diabetes and more.
To use the prescription savings benefit, members search for their medication by name on Amazon.com, and if it is eligible, the site displays price comparisons for paying with or without insurance, and for different pharmacies. Also included in the benefit is unlimited free two-day delivery.
Amazon noted that six-month supplies are available only for customers who have a prescription for that quantity from their healthcare provider.
WHY THIS MATTERS
Medication adherence can be a challenge for people taking daily medications for chronic disease, and as many as 50% of patients are affected by nonadherence, according to The Permanente Journal. This nonadherence is thought to cause at least 100,000 preventable deaths and $100 billion in preventable medical costs per year, according to the journal.
Some of the common barriers to proper medication use are inconvenience, cost and time. Amazon is looking to alleviate some of those burdens with this new offering.
“For customers who take one or two daily medications, the hardest part may be remembering to refill the script,” TJ Parker, the vice president of Amazon Pharmacy, said in a statement.
“Now, customers with a 6-month prescription only need to think about it twice a year. The savings for Prime members also offer a real advantage. There are many reasons an individual might need to purchase medication without insurance and, with the Prime prescription savings benefit, select meds are available for only $1/month. Our team is proud to continue finding new ways to bring low prices, increased selection, and more convenience to pharmacy customers.”
THE LARGER TREND
Amazon has been inching its way into the prescription drug market since its 2018 acquisition of virtual pharmacy PillPack for just under $1 billion. More recently, the retail giant launched Amazon Pharmacy as a way for customers to order and manage their prescription medications online and get them delivered at home.
But Amazon isn’t the only retailer looking to get a piece out of the $360 billion prescription medication market. Walmart has also made a space for itself in the healthcare space, and earlier this week it announced it too was beginning a prescription savings program for Walmart+ members.