Amazon is adding a prescription drug discount program to its growing healthcare business.
The retail giant announced Tuesday that it will launch RxPass, a subscription service for customers with Prime memberships. Amazon says people will pay $5 a month to fill the required number of prescriptions from a list of about 50 generic drugs.
The company said the flat fee could cover a list of drugs such as the antibiotic amoxicillin and the anti-inflammatory drug naproxen.Sildenafil is also on the list. It is used under the brand name of Viagra to treat erectile dysfunction and is also used to treat high blood pressure.
Amazon says Prime members who participate in the program can save up to 80% off generic drugs and up to 40% off branded drugs at more than 60,000 pharmacies across the United States. Most health insurance programs are accepted.
John Love, Vice President of Amazon Pharmacy, said: Statement about new programs.
Prime members can sign up for RxPass by Prime members on Amazon.com or Amazon’s mobile app.
Amazon sells a variety of generic medicines through its pharmacy services. The benefits of this new program vary by customer, as some already cost as little as $1 for 30 days of supply.
This program does not use insurance and is not eligible for government-funded Medicaid or Medicare coverage. At launch, it will be available in 42 states and Washington DC.
Programs that bring lower-priced generic drugs to more patients are “a good thing,” said Karen Van Nuys, an economist who studies drug pricing at the University of Southern California. But she added that she doesn’t know how much impact RxPass will have, she said the program is limited to her Amazon Prime customers. Other options like Mark Cuban CostPlus Drug Co. sell more generic drugs, many of which are under $5.
“I don’t know that it’s expanding access to a new set of patients,” Van Nuys said.
Still, the move, while not always successful in its aims, could help the company take up more space in the healthcare market.a home care service called Amazon Care after failing to get traction from employers. , which broke up a year earlier.
Amazon says its online drugstore, Amazon Pharmacy, is a key part of its healthcare plan, along with primary care organization One Medical, which it is looking to acquire for $3.9 billion. The Federal Trade Commission is investigating the proposed buyout.
In November, the company announced that it would start offering “Amazon Clinic,” a message service that connects patients and doctors about about 20 common conditions, such as allergies and hair loss.