Amazon has launched an ordering and delivery platform for prescription medications. The service, dubbed Amazon Pharmacy, comes two years after the e-commerce giant acquired PillPack, medicine delivery service, for $753 million. The launch comes at an opportune time when most people are looking for ways to do their shopping errands online due to the pandemic.
“As more and more people look to complete everyday errands from home, Pharmacy is an important and needed addition to the Amazon online store,” said Doug Herrington, senior vice president of North American Consumer at Amazon, in a statement. “PillPack has provided exceptional pharmacy service for individuals with chronic health conditions for over six years. Now, we’re expanding our pharmacy offering to Amazon.com, which will help more customers save time, save money, simplify their lives, and feel healthier.”
Amazon Pharmacy will enable customers to have secure pharmacy profiles which will include insurance information, medications management and preferred payment options. It will also have a self help tool and the ability to speak and seek advice from a pharmacist over the phone at any time, day or night. For now, it seems the Pharmacy platform will only be available for US customers.
Through Amazon Prime, members will get special features such as unlimited free two – day delivery plus 80% discount on generic and 40% off brand name medications when they pay without insurance. Customers who haven’t subscribed to Prime will not access these savings.
Amazon Pharmacy has partnered with over 50,000 pharmacies, customers will be able to compare prices with insurance, without insurance and with savings awarded with Prime subscriptions.
“We understand the importance of access to affordable medication, and we believe Prime members will find tremendous value with the new Amazon Prime prescription savings benefit,” said Jamil Ghani, vice president, Amazon Prime, in a statement. “Our goal is for Prime to make members’ lives easier and more convenient every day, and we’re excited to extend the incredible savings, seamless shopping experience, and fast, free delivery members know and love with Prime to Amazon Pharmacy.”
The online Pharmacy adds up to the Amazon health ecosystem which includes the recently launched Halo fitness tracker which – among other standard fitness features – can use your smartphone’s camera to scan your body fat and establish “fat hot spots” and generate a 3D image of your body. Then, using the Halo app, you can use the up and down slider to see how gaining and losing weight would impact your overall physical appearance. The ecosystem also has Amazon Care which is an offering for the e-commerce company’s employees to access in-person and telemedicine services. It is not far-fetched to assume that the company will soon bring the Amazon Care service to the general public. In addition, the ecosystem also has Amazon branded over-the-counter medications, a venture they started in 2019, seemingly to lay the ground work for launching the online Pharmacy.