Amazon adds another string to its bow as it expands its e-commerce offering to include medication, at least in the USA. The company has introduced ‘Amazon Pharmacy’ which will allow users to order prescribed medication online from Amazon’s website. Users can also upload their medical insurance information on Amazon’s secure pharmacy profile, manage prescriptions, and choose payment options before checking out.
TJ Parker, Vice President at Amazon Pharmacy, said, “We designed Amazon Pharmacy to put customers first – bringing Amazon’s customer obsession to an industry that can be inconvenient and confusing. We work hard behind the scenes to handle complications seamlessly so anyone who needs a prescription can understand their options, place their order for the lowest available price, and have their medication delivered quickly.”
Moreover, just like on Amazon’s other e-commerce offerings, Amazon Prime users get added benefits while using the new Amazon Pharmacy. Prime members can avail of unlimited, free two-day delivery on orders from Amazon Pharmacy. They can also obtain savings on the ordered medication when paying without insurance. These savings offer can be also availed at 50,000 other participating pharmacies across the United States.
The company claims that Prime members can benefit up to 80% off generic and 40% off branded medications when availing of the Amazon Prime prescription savings offer and paying without insurance. While at the checkout page, users can simply compare the prices of the medicines with and without the prescription savings and insurance payment and choose the lowest option to proceed.
In addition to the new pharmacy service, Amazon will also provide 24/7 online self-service help options to customers. This self-service help will have ‘friendly and knowledgeable pharmacists’ all day long to answer any customer’s question.
Amazon’s foray into online prescribed medication was expected since its $753 million acquisition of Pillpack two years ago. Pillpack is also an online pharmacy store which home delivers daily medications for chronic conditions. Amazon Pharmacy’s portal has a separate segment dedicated to Pillpack and the e-commerce giant itself suggested that “Customers who take multiple daily medications and prefer pre-sorted dose packaging should continue to choose PillPack”.
“As more and more people look to complete everyday errands from home, pharmacy is an important and needed addition to the Amazon online store,” said Doug Herrington, Senior Vice President of North American Consumer at Amazon. “PillPack has provided exceptional pharmacy service for individuals with chronic health conditions for over six years. Now, we’re expanding our pharmacy offering to Amazon.com, which will help more customers save time, save money, simplify their lives, and feel healthier.”
Although this is not Amazon’s first experiment with an online pharmacy. Earlier this year, the e-commerce giant had launched Amazon Pharmacy in India’s Silicon Valley, Bengaluru. It intends to compete with companies like NetMeds, 1mg, PharmEasy and Medlife in a highly competitive Indian medicine delivery market.
The combination of online medication and online grocery offerings from Amazon gives it a slight edge over its competitors. This dual offering is something that has become very common recently in physical medical stores that sell both medicines and groceries. Providing a platform that sells almost everything you can ask for, makes Amazon a complete online shopping experience.
Jamil Ghani, Vice President, Amazon Prime said, “We understand the importance of access to affordable medication, and we believe Prime members will find tremendous value with the new Amazon Prime prescription savings benefit. Our goal is for Prime to make members’ lives easier and more convenient every day, and we’re excited to extend the incredible savings, seamless shopping experience, and fast, free delivery members know and love with Prime to Amazon Pharmacy.”