Amazon Introduces Online Medication Price Comparisons

The service is exclusively for Prime members and can help them save up to 80% on generic prescriptions.

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Need to Know

  • Amazon Prime members can now compare medication costs at Amazon Pharmacy and more than 60,000 retail pharmacies across the US.
  • The Amazon Prime prescription savings benefit offers savings of up to 80% off generic and 40% off brand-name medications, when paying without insurance, according to Amazon.
  • Individuals using an Amazon Pharmacy account to purchase medication online can also now check their insurance co-pay price before ordering a medication.

Analysis

Amazon has launched a new medication price-comparison tool for Prime members.

The Amazon Prime prescription savings benefit, which the retail giant launched on May 11, allows Prime members to compare the cost of their prescription medication at Amazon Pharmacy with more than 60,000 retail pharmacies in the US where Prime savings cards are accepted.

The new tool is fairly straightforward, which is good for its target audience: using Amazon Pharmacy, which was launched in November 2020, customers simply search for their prescription by name to see its cost at Amazon Pharmacy and nearby pharmacies across the U.S. Customers can then either choose to have their prescription filled by Amazon Pharmacy, or in-person.

According to Amazon, customers without insurance can save up to 80% on generic or 40% on brand-name medications by using the prescription savings benefit.

“Whether looking for the best price on urgent medication needs, or finding ways to save each month on chronic medications, this benefit is another way Prime members can save money and time while staying healthy,” the company wrote in a blog post announcing the new price-comparison tool.

In addition to the prescription savings benefit, Amazon Prime members can now check their insurance co-pay price before ordering a medication, from directly within Amazon Pharmacy. Members need to provide their insurance and prescriber information in order to request an expected co-pay amount, which is displayed within the Amazon Pharmacy platform. Customers can then compare their co-pay cost to the savings offered by Prime.

The new tool from Amazon Pharmacy is just the latest in series of moves from Amazon aimed at strengthening the company’s foothold in the growing virtual healthcare arena.

In March, the e-comm giant announced plans to expand Amazon Care, its healthcare program, nationwide. Amazon Care functions as an alternative to traditional healthcare programs, providing direct, live chats with a nurse or doctor via the Amazon Care app. If a patient requires in-person care, a medical professional is sent to their home to provide services that may include blood tests, chest exams, or delivery of prescriptions. The company also recently integrated Halo, Amazon’s wearable fitness device, with Alexa speakers, allowing users to ask Alexa questions about their health without having to interact with Halo’s app.

Amazon is not alone in expanding its healthcare reach. Competitor Walmart is hot on the company’s trail, most recently with the acquisition of WeMD, a telehealth platform that will allow Walmart to offer virtual healthcare through Walmart Health nationwide.

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