Amazon launches a $5/month generic drug prescription plan for U.S. Prime members
Just two years after Amazon entered into the pharmacy business with the launch of Amazon Pharmacy to enable customers to order prescriptions online, Amazon announced today the launch of its low-cost subscription plan for generic drugs, furthering the e-commerce giant’s push into healthcare.
In an announcement Tuesday, Amazon said it is offering a $5 monthly subscription plan for U.S. Prime members that will cover a range of generic drugs and their doorstep delivery. The e-commerce giant said that the $5 a month plan will enable members to fill as many prescriptions as they need from a list of about 50 generic meds.
Amazon Pharmacy’s chief medical officer Vin Gupta said that the program, which is named RxPass, includes more than 50 medications addressing over 80 chronic conditions such as high blood pressure, anxiety, diabetes, and male pattern baldness.
However, customers currently enrolled in Medicare, Medicaid, or any other government healthcare program will not be eligible to participate in Amazon Pharmacy’s RxPass service.
In an interview Tuesday, John Love, vice president of Amazon Pharmacy, said that the average Prime member would save about $100 per year with RxPass. The program begins today and U.S. Amazon Prime members can sign up for the program right now. The flat $5 charge would be without insurance and on top of the Prime membership fee, which costs $139 per year in the United States.
“We believe a lot of Americans, particularly those that suffer from a chronic illness, are going to benefit from just Amazon’s participation in pharmacy, the ability to get high-quality experience delivered to your door at low cost,” Love added.
According to Amazon, the RxPass program could save money for Prime members who are currently paying more than $5 a month for all of their medications. “RxPass isn’t insurance, but it can be helpful for those without insurance, or when insurance doesn’t cover certain medications,” Amazon said on its website. “Many people with diabetes, high blood pressure, and anxiety will find their medications are eligible with RxPass,” the company added.
In 2018, Amazon acquired PillPack, a 5-year-old startup that provides an online pharmacy offering that helps people take timely medication. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. PillPack was founded in 2013 to help fill, sort, and deliver all your medications in personalized packets based on when you need to take them. Their service helps you take the right meds at the right time, every time. For people who take multiple daily prescriptions, PillPack offers pre-sorted dose packaging, home delivery, and a commitment to customer service.
These features help customers take medications as prescribed, which has been shown to improve health outcomes and lower costs. PillPack holds pharmacy licenses in all 50 states, has URAC and VIPPS accreditation is an in-network pharmacy with most PBMs, including major Medicare Part D plans, and has built a proprietary set of software systems and tools called PharmacyOS.