One year after Amazon announced their first healthcare venture, Haven, they’re offering even more to customers. A press release Tuesday detailed the company’s plans to offer pharmacy services to Amazon customers, including free delivery of prescription medications for Prime members.
Savings and Convenience
Tuesday’s press release detailed the services customers can access now. Per the statement, “Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) today announced two new pharmacy offerings to help customers conveniently purchase their prescription medications. Amazon Pharmacy, a new store on Amazon, allows customers to complete an entire pharmacy transaction on their desktop or mobile device through the Amazon App. Using a secure pharmacy profile, customers can add their insurance information, manage prescriptions, and choose payment options before checking out. Prime members receive unlimited, free two-day delivery on orders from Amazon Pharmacy included with their membership. To learn more and get started, visit amazon.com/pharmacy.
Also new today, Prime members can access savings on medications at Amazon Pharmacy when paying without insurance, as well as at over 50,000 other participating pharmacies nationwide. The Amazon Prime prescription savings benefit saves members up to 80% off generic and 40% off brand name medications when paying without insurance. Prime members will have access to their prescription savings at checkout on Amazon Pharmacy, or can learn more at amazon.com/primerx.
Together the Amazon Prime prescription savings benefit and Amazon Pharmacy make it simple for customers to compare prices and purchase medications for home delivery, all in one place. Now, filling prescriptions is as convenient as any other purchase on Amazon’s online store:
Research Medications and Order Confidently: The same browsing experience customers are familiar with from Amazon makes it easy to discover what medications – including branded and generic versions, and different forms or dosages – are available through Amazon Pharmacy. Before checking out customers can compare their insurance co-pay, the price without insurance, or the available savings with the new Prime prescription savings benefit to choose their lowest price option.
Seamless Transactions: Customers can add insurance information and ask their prescriber to send new or existing prescriptions directly to Amazon Pharmacy for fulfilment. Purchase is as simple as confirming the request on the Amazon App or website.
Access Fully Digital, Personalized Quality Care: Customers have online self-service help options combined with phone access to customer care at any time. Friendly and knowledgeable pharmacists are available 24/7 to answer questions about medications.”
Amazon’s Newest Healthcare Venture
Pharmacy services aren’t Amazon’s only healthcare offerings. Last year, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced a collaboration with Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffet and JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon. They created a non-profit healthcare service called Haven, aimed at tackling the absurd rising costs of healthcare in the United States.
Focused on helping workers of Amazon, JP Morgan, and Berkshire Hathaway, Haven looks to learn about their healthcare experiences and find less expensive solutions. Amazon also acquired PillPack, a convenience pharmacy service that apportions medications into easy, labeled packs. PillPack helps customers who take multiple medications or doses.
Amazon’s Pharmacy and Prime Pharmacy is just the newest step along the path to expanding into yet another industry.
Other Pharmacies are Shaken
Per CNBC, “Pharmacy stocks tumbled following the launch of Amazon Pharmacy. CVS shares fell 8.6% on Tuesday. Walgreens Boots Alliance dropped 9.6%. Shares of Rite Aid slid 16.2%. GoodRx, which helps consumers find discounts on prescription drugs, fell 22.5%. Amazon shares closed slightly higher.”
Amazon felt that the timing was perfect, as customers are looking for safer ways to access their medications without leaving home. While pharmacies like CVS have expanded their delivery options, they’re often limited in scope. Amazon can offer most medications at a steep discount, and with 2-day shipping, they hold a clear advantage over many worried competitors.
Amazon Says, ‘Customers First’
Although Amazon has come under fire in recent years for treatment of warehouse workers, they undeniably do provide high-tier service to customers. Amazon Pharmacy is another attempt to offer a little bit of everything their customers want or need.
Per their press release, “‘We designed Amazon Pharmacy to put customers first – bringing Amazon’s customer obsession to an industry that can be inconvenient and confusing,’ said TJ Parker, Vice President, Amazon Pharmacy. ‘We work hard behind the scenes to handle complications seamlessly so anyone who needs a prescription can understand their options, place their order for the lowest available price, and have their medication delivered quickly.’
‘As more and more people look to complete everyday errands from home, pharmacy is an important and needed addition to the Amazon online store,’ commented Doug Herrington, Senior Vice President of North American Consumer at Amazon. ‘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.’
‘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. ‘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.”’