Amazon’s long-awaited push to disrupt the healthcare industry in a way similar to how retail is changing.
The company, on Tuesday, announced RxPassa $5 per month add-on for Prime Members that gives them access to prescription generic drugs for more than 80 health conditions, from high blood pressure to acid reflux to anxiety .
The flat fee covers all meds, so a patient who takes prescription drugs for high cholesterol, high blood pressure and anxiety pays just $5 a month, compared to the $30 or more they were paying. today. Some of the generic drugs, sold through the Amazon Pharmacy program (which will continue separately) sell for up to $15 per month when purchased separately.
“RxPass is not insurance, but it can be helpful for those who don’t have insurance, or if insurance doesn’t cover certain drugs,” the company said in a statement. “Many people with diabetes, high blood pressure, and anxiety find that their medications are worth it.”
The service is available starting today to customers in 42 states, although those in California, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Washington are not currently eligible.
Amazon started selling prescription drugs more than two years ago, get online pharmacy PillPack Inc. in 2018 for $753 million, then launched sales in November 2020, the center of the first days of the pandemic, when many people avoided going to brick and mortar pharmacies.
The PillPack acquisition sent shock waves through the pharmacy industry. Robert W. Baird health supply-chain analyst, Eric Coldwell, at the time said the purchase is “a full frontal attack” in the health care space, saying: “The Street will see this move by Amazon as the beginning of the threat, not the whole this.” Evercore ISI health tech and distribution analyst, Ross Muken likened it to “a scene from ‘Game of Thrones.”
The RxPass rollout comes a month after Amazon’s closing one of its other health care programs. Take care of Amazonthe company’s telehealth service, saw its last virtual patient on December 31. The company, at the time, said the service was not “the right long-term solution for our business customers.”
RxPass isn’t likely the company’s last move into the health care space. Amazon acquired boutique primary care provider 1Life Healthcare for $3.9 billion in July. And it tried to buy home health services company Signify Health, though CVS ultimately won the battle.
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