January 30, 2023

Amazon launches $5-a-month unlimited prescription plan

2 min read

New York

Amazon is increasing its push into healthcare with a $5-a-month unlimited delivery pass on 60 common generic prescription drugs that treat allergies, inflammation, high blood pressure and other conditions.

Amazon Announces New Delivery Service,

Rx pass
, on Tuesday and will begin immediately in California, Texas, Minnesota and other states with specific prescription delivery requirements. Consumers who are enrolled in Medicare, Medicaid, or another government health care program will not be able to sign up for benefits.

Health care analysts and economists say the program will likely save consumers money on lower-cost generic drugs but will not affect the cost of more expensive brand-name drugs. which drive a large portion of US prescription drug spending. They also expect Amazon to lose money on the service but see other benefits.

The $5 monthly delivery pass is an add-on to Amazon Prime, Amazon’s $139-a-year program, and is available exclusively to Prime subscribers regardless of their insurance status.

Amazon has long offered a Prime Prescription Savings benefit to get discounts on generic and brand-name drugs. The company said its new generic delivery program targets consumers who take multiple prescriptions to manage chronic conditions and pay out-of-pocket costs for their medications.

Some common medications included in the program include Bupropion, Cephalexin, Doxycycline, Estradiol and Sertaline.

Although generic drugs represented about 86 percent of all U.S. prescriptions in 2022, they accounted for only 20 percent of prescription drug spending, Evercore analyst Elizabeth Anderson noted to clients Tuesday.

“The set of generics in Amazon’s new program represents 32 percent of generic drugs in 2021, and is potentially a loss for Amazon,” he said, calling it an “incremental pharmacy experience” for the company.

Amazon has focused its efforts on generics because it is difficult to compete with health insurance companies and other companies on branded and specialty drugs, he said.

Shawn Nicholson, director of the Sloan Program in Health Administration at Cornell University, believes that the generic program can boost Amazon Prime membership subscriptions, drive consumers to Amazon for higher-margin branded drugs, and spend more on them. Introducing Other products when they use the program.

Nicholson said Amazon’s new plan would mean consumers could see lower prices for some generic drugs. But “it won’t do much, if anything, to reduce spending on drugs that don’t face generic competition.”

RXPass is Amazon’s latest move to capture more healthcare spending from consumers.

Company Purchased online pharmacy PillPack. In 2018, launched its own Amazon Pharmacy in 2020 and launched one last year. Virtual Health Care Clinic. The company last year also Agreed to buy a medical.A primary care provider, for $3.9 billion. The deal is awaiting regulatory approval.

— CNN’s Tami Luhby contributed to this article.

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