Continuation of her enter the medical industryAmazon launches its own drug prescription service The first members called RxPass, which allows consumers to buy generics for $5 a month.
And that $5 goes a long way. Not only is it a flat fee, but subscribers will not be subject to hidden fees or random surcharges, and delivery is free. You can buy all the drugs (opens in a new tab) you need for $5 assuming it’s available on the program. At launch you will have access to over 50 different drugs (opens in a new tab) to treat more than 80 common conditions, from diabetes to gout and even high blood pressure.
Any additional prescriptions you need that are not available through RxPass must be purchased through Amazon Pharmacy at its normal price. Speaking of which, Amazon Pharmacy will also highlight which drugs can be purchased through the new service as there will be a new blue RxPass icon in drug descriptions.
To sign up, the company says Prime members will need to go through a “simple registration process” to verify “entitlement and prescription information.” Amazon Pharmacists are available 24/7 to help replenish or “coordinate with [your] doctor” for smooth setup. The packages will be “delivered monthly or quarterly” to your door – depending on your prescription. Differs.
It is also worth noting that the number of drugs purchased affects the length of the subscription. Suppose you buy a three-month supply of finasteride. In the eyes of Amazon, you just committed to a three-month subscription to RxPass. Patients may opt-out at any time, but cancellation will only take effect after this period. You can’t cancel after 40 days trying to save money; Amazon won’t let you. So be careful how much you buy.
As you can imagine, there are some restrictions on startup. The service will be available in 42 US states. The eight excluded are California, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Washington. Patients in these states will need to use an Amazon pharmacy to get their medication. Amazon will also refuse people based on the type of insurance they have. If you are on Medicare, Medicaid, or any other government-funded insurance, you will be rejected. Neither HSA (Health Savings Account) nor FSA (Flexible Spending Account) will be accepted.
It looks like patients can use their insurance plan to pay for RxPass, but do you really need the extra $5 a month on top of the Prime membership fee? Being able to buy all your prescriptions (assuming they qualify) in one place for such a low cost is a great deal. RxPass could potentially help many people, especially with the current inflation.
We contacted Amazon to ask if there were plans to expand both the list of eligible drugs and RxPass to the eight exempt states. This story will be updated if we get a response.
Be sure to check out the TechRadar list best telemedicine software in 2023. These platforms enable remote healthcare if you are unable to visit a doctor in person.
Update: An Amazon representative told us that the company plans to expand RxPass to other locations, but the list of eligible drugs does not appear to be growing. They told us that Amazon does not speculate on “future plans” for drugs.