Amazon has announced two new services to buy prescripted- and non-prescripted drugs online.
Amazon Pharmacy is a virtual shop for over the counter and prescription-only medicines. To use the service, users must create a profile and ask their doctors to send their prescriptions directly to the platform. They can enter their insurance policy information, manage their prescriptions and choose their payment options before check-out.
Prime customers benefit from unlimited and free delivery within two days. The same customers, if they buy drugs without insurance, can save up to 80% on generic drugs and 40% on branded drugs.
Amazon customers can also get discounts at 50,000 pharmacies throughout the United States, in Costco, CVS, Walgreens, Walmart and other chain shops.
The service also includes creams, pills and medicines that must remain refrigerated, such as insulin. Amazon has indicated that it will not ship medicines that can be abused, including many opioids.
Customers have several options for online self-service assistance and telephone access to 24-hour, 7-day-a-week assistance, where pharmacists answer questions about medicines.
The service is currently active in 45 US states. It is not known if and when the service will be extended to Europe.
Amazon Pharmacy is the result of the $750 million acquisition of PillPack in 2018. It will continue to operate with a focus on shipping medicines to chronically ill patients.