When Amazon acquired PillPack for $753 million in 2018, it marked the beginning of the retail giant’s involvement in the pharmacy business. Two years later, a digital pharmacy, Amazon Pharmacy, has been announced, and its arrival caused a sensation.
Amazon Pharmacy is a part of Amazon where buyers can buy medicines. According to a Bloomberg report, purchasers will be able to use their health insurance to pay, while those who purchase Prime subscribers without using their insurance can get discounts on medicines on the site and approximately 50,000 partner pharmacies.
After its unveiling on Tuesday, the shares of health giants CVS Health Corp. and Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. fell 8.5% and 10.3%, respectively. Many other businesses involved in drug distribution and sales have also suffered.
Before the announcement, people who wanted to buy prescription drugs were redirected to PillPack, but now they can get the drugs on the same site or app where they buy household goods and electronics.
However, the information on the website says that Amazon Pharmacy’s PillPack will still cater to users who need to sort their drugs into small packages by date and time.
Amazon Pharmacy is suitable for customers 18 years and older, and it is very simple to set up. A profile will be created for the user and detailed information including basic information, medications, allergies and health conditions must be provided.
After registering, you can get a prescription by contacting your prescriber to send it to Amazon or asking Amazon to contact them (prescriber) on your behalf. The latter takes 2 to 4 days, so if it is urgent, Amazon recommends that you buy medicines from your local pharmacy.
Once Amazon gets your prescription, you can place your order and pay with or without insurance. Prime members who do not use insurance not only get discounts on orders but also get free 2-day delivery.
Amazon says it also has pharmacists available 24/7 if you have questions about your medication. These pharmacists will also help you review your prescriptions.