Amazon is jumping into the fray of prescription discount offerings, hoping to grab a slice of the $360 billion U.S. medication market with its six-month plan for Prime members starting at $6, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday (June 8).
Since the majority of insurance firms don’t cover six-month prescriptions, Amazon’s new offering is aimed at people who don’t have health insurance or have either high deductibles or high out-of-pocket prescription co-pays.
Amazon first made inroads into the U.S. prescription market after snapping up online pharmacy PillPack in 2018, which focused on people who take multiple medications and making their regimen easier by packaging medications in daily packets.
This new Amazon Pharmacy six-month plan is aimed at people who take maintenance medications — one or two pills daily — for common health issues like hypertension, high cholesterol and diabetes.
Amazon Pharmacy Vice President TJ Parker told Bloomberg the eCommerce giant can reduce costs by buying medications in bulk at a discount and making just two deliveries annually to the customer. “We want to make filling a prescription just as easy as shopping on Amazon,” he said.
Bigger brands like CVS and Walgreens still dominate the rankings by revenue in the prescription market, with Walmart coming in fifth, ArsTechnica reported. Amazon has yet to list in the top 15. Retail pharmacies with physical locations have done well in comparison to mail pharmacies. Amazon has been in the prescription medication sector for years after acquiring PillPack for $753 million in 2018 purchase.
Amazon also is mulling brick-and-mortar pharmacies in the U.S., Reuters reported.
Numerous retailers are looking to capitalize on the prescription medication market, with Walmart, Kroger and Costco rolling out their own discount plans. Walmart said Monday (June 7) it is extending online delivery and discounts for its Walmart+ members, offering up to 85 percent discounts on prescribed medications purchased through its Walmart+ RX service.