Amazon is creeping its distribution fingers into another pie: drugs. Amazon Pharmacy lets customers link their insurance information if they have it and create what is said to be a secure profile to purchase and manage prescriptions. In addition, it is offering Prime subscribers the potential for massive savings online and at brick-and-mortar locations if they do not have insurance.
Amazon requires name, date of birth, sex assigned at birth, and the last four digits of a person's social security number to create a profile and communicate with provider networks. Optionally, the user can create a four-digit PIN to further protect it. From there, customers can ask their prescribers to route scripts to their Amazon account or manually request medications from within the Amazon Pharmacy portal. When making orders, Prime subscribers are able to take advantage of the usual free 2-day shipping.
Prime also gives members without insurance savings of up to 40% off for brand name and up to 80% off for generic prescriptions at over 50,000 participating pharmacies. The subsidy is provided by Inside Rx, a drug discounting program which falls into insurance giant Cigna's portfolio.
PillPack, a service Amazon acquired in 2018 that distributes pre-dosed medications to those with chronic conditions, will still exist under the Amazon Pharmacy umbrella.
Amazon is coming in as the big fish in a crowded pond in prescription delivery services among the likes of the traditional chains such as CVS and Walgreens as well as newer, sometimes boutique players like Capsule and Honeybee.