Amazon introduced a new benefit for Prime members in the United States on Tuesday, intending to increase the number of people who subscribe to the program and draw new customers to its online pharmacy.
With this add-on, known as RxPass, Prime members will be able to choose from a list of 50 generic pharmaceuticals to treat more than 80 prevalent chronic diseases, including as high blood pressure, anxiety, and diabetes, and acquire as many prescriptions as they need at no additional cost. The service has a monthly fee of $5 per person, and there is no charge for delivery.
In recent years, Amazon has increased its presence in the healthcare industry. In 2020, the firm launched its online pharmacy, a service that was conceived after the company purchased PillPack in the previous year (2018). Amazon Care was a telehealth service that the company launched but later discontinued. In July, Amazon announced that it will purchase One Medical, a primary care provider that specializes in providing boutique services.
In addition, Amazon provides its Prime members with the ability to save up to 80% on generic pharmaceuticals and up to 40% on brand-name prescriptions by taking advantage of the Prime Prescription Savings perk.
While Amazon CEO Andy Jassy is looking to save expenses elsewhere in the firm, Amazon is increasing the benefits that come with its Prime membership program. Amazon has considered terminating the employment of around 18,000 of its workers, in addition to freezing recruitment for its corporate personnel and canceling several initiatives. Despite this, Jassy has said that Amazon plans to continue exploring long-term possibilities, including those in the healthcare industry.
The online retailer is up against the stiff competition in the pharmaceutical industry from the likes of Walgreens, CVS, and Walmart. Since its introduction, Amazon has not provided any information about the performance of its online pharmaceutical product. According to Business Insider, research that was published in August by Morgan Stanley stated that a poll of users indicated that Amazon Pharmacy did not rate as one of the top benefits for Prime members.
Vin Gupta, chief medical officer for Amazon, said that the company’s goal is to provide customers with a pharmacy experience that is “fundamentally different” from the way that pharmacies have operated over the last few decades.
RxPass does not provide insulin or other specialized prescriptions, and those who are enrolled in Medicaid or Medicare are unable to use the service. Gupta could not provide an answer when asked about the possibility that Amazon may increase the number of pharmaceuticals that are available via RxPass shortly.
According to him, around 150 million individuals in the United States are now using at least one of the prescriptions that are part of the original RxPass regimen.