Amazon on Tuesday debuted its latest healthcare offering—a prescription drug program that gives subscribers the ability to fill as many prescriptions as they need for a flat monthly fee, delivering an experience the company says is "fundamentally different" from other pharmacies.
On Tuesday, Amazon announced RxPass, a new prescription drug program that will allow members to fill as many prescriptions as they need from a list of 50 generic medications that treat over 80 common conditions, including high blood pressure, anxiety, and diabetes. Amazon estimated that 150 million Americans take at least one of the medications available on RxPass.
Currently, the service is available to U.S.-based Amazon Prime members for an additional monthly fee of $5. Under the program, subscribers will be able to order any medication from Amazon's offerings and have them delivered at no additional cost.
The program will operate within Amazon's existing pharmacy infrastructure and distribution channels, according to John Love, VP at Amazon Pharmacy.
While the service started immediately in most states, it is not currently available in California, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Washington due to state-specific requirements. In addition, RxPass is not available to individuals enrolled in Medicare, Medicaid, or any other government healthcare program that has a $0 copay.
According to Love, RxPass is designed for individuals with chronic conditions who pay for multiple prescription medications out-of-pocket. Love noted that the lack of pricing transparency surrounding prescription medications spurred the company's decision to launch the service.
"The bulk of scripts Americans get are administered the same way they have been for decades," Love said. "The patient drives [to the pharmacy], they stand in a communal environment...and they find out the price at the point of care."
Amazon CMO Vin Gupta said the company's latest healthcare venture aims to deliver a pharmacy experience that is "fundamentally different" from its competitors.
"This is still day one for us where we're at our beginning stages here, but we recognize that change is needed," Gupta said. "That's what patients across the country are telling us, and that's what Amazon is responding to." (Palmer, CNBC, 1/24; Hart, Forbes, 1/24; Turner, Modern Healthcare, 1/24)
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