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Amazon has launched its Amazon Pharmacy service for the sale of prescription drugs in the US. The products will be delivered free for Amazon Prime members.
American multinational technology company and e-commerce giant Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ: AMZN) has made its official foray into the pharmaceutical scene with the launch of Amazon Pharmacy. As reported by CNBC, Amazon’s debut into the pharmaceutical space comes after years of strategizing and after acquiring PillPack back in 2018.
Per the CNBC report, the entire Amazon Pharmacy business is designed based on PillPack’s model. While Amazon Pharmacy will primarily focus on the sales of prescription drugs, which it will deliver free to Amazon Prime subscribers, PillPack will focus its attention on serving users with more serious ailments that require special attention.
As noted by TJ Parker, Amazon’s vice president of pharmacy, and co-founder of PillPack, they “wanted to make it easy for people to get their medication, understand the cost and get it delivered to the home. The hard work is to make it easy… there were a number of complications behind the scenes.”
Now with the service fully launched, Amazon will seek to bolster its home delivery offerings to its customers, particularly the Amazon Prime members. The strategic timing of the Amazon Pharmacy comes at a time when people are shifting away from a walk into stores to make purchases owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The launch of the service sent shock waves into the pharmaceutical marketplace as shares of firms offering similar services plummeted. The shares of CVS Health Corporation (NYSE: CVS) spiraled down by 6.75% to $68.49. Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc (NASDAQ: WBA) dropped 9.21% to close at $40.04, and the shares of a similar retailer offering pharmaceutical sales Walmart Inc (NYSE: WMT) recorded a slight dip of 0.39%.
While these stocks closed down, Amazon shares climbed up by 0.95%, adding $29.86 to hit $3,160.92 at the time of writing.
How Amazon Pharmacy Works
The Amazing Pharmacy service will be available to customers over the age of 18 and as a health-related service, the company noted it will be accepting a varied form of health insurance packages. According to CNBC, Amazon will also offer its prescription drug purchase and delivery to customers with no health plan, while saving them a significant cost on prescription drug purchase.
The service has a system in place to verify the claims for prescriptions in order not to allow self-medication orders, as well as fraud. As it is required by law, first-time users making purchases through Amazon Pharmacy will have to answer such queries as pregnancy status, age, and sex given at birth. According to TJ Parker said that the company won’t share pharmacy data with advertisers or marketers without permission, as its requirement to collect and store customer’s health information is in compliance with federal HIPAA rules.
The delivery of ordered drugs is billed to take two delivery and logistics may make this delivery schedule vary. None Amazon Prime users will be able to get the express delivery service by paying $5.99 for an upgrade. Amazon users can also get a savings benefit card to use at more than 50,000 pharmacies. This as reported will help Amazon’s customers who cannot wait out the 2-day delivery schedule.