About the New Amazon Pharmacy – You Knew it was Only a Matter of Time

About the New Amazon Pharmacy
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Amazon has launched its very own pharmacy service, which accepts your health insurance and delivers your prescriptions right to your door. Don’t have health insurance, or don’t want to use it? That’s ok, because in addition to competing with conventional pharmacies, Amazon is also competing with the likes of GoodRX with it’s PrimeRX program for Amazon Prime members.

You had to know that it was only a matter of time, with Amazon getting into just about every other aspect of everyday life, from grocery stores to food delivery and meal kits, from delivery robots to drones, and with predictions that they will move into the travel and fuel spaces. But the real handwriting on the wall was Amazon’s relatively quiet acquisition of Pill Pack in 2018. As we said in our coverage then, that put Amazon in a position to really compete with the likes of Target, Walmart, and even Costco.

And delivery of prescriptions isn’t the only thing that Amazon pharmacy offers – in fact the bigger deal may be the fact that they have on-call pharmacists 24/7. Says Amazon, “If you have questions about your medication, our pharmacists are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 855-745-5725.Daytime phone support: Our normal business hours are Monday to Friday 8:00 AM – 10:00 PM ET and Saturday and Sunday 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM ET. Evening phone support: After normal business hours, a voicemail system is available for customers. Please leave a message and a pharmacist will get back to you as soon as possible. We return urgent calls within 30 minutes.”

Now granted, we can speak with a pharmacist at our local supermarket, which also offers free delivery of prescriptions, and at the local Walgreens (although they only deliver for free if your insurance will cover it), however not 24/7!.

Of course, that is for the 45 states to which they currently deliver. Amazon does not yet have pharmacy and pharmaceutical delivery arrangements in Minnesota, Kentucky, Illinois, Louisiana, or Hawaii, although they do deliver to the District of Columbia. Still, we are sure that those other five states will be up and running soon. Nor, we note, do they deliver to territories such as Puerto Rico.

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The way that it works, according to Amazon, is that you sign up for the Amazon pharmacy service either from your desktop computer or through the regular Amazon app. When you first sign up, you will give Amazon Pharmacy information about your health history, your medications, your insurance information, etc..

Then you can request refills of your prescriptions either through the Amazon pharmacy, or through your healthcare provider – just as with any other pharmacy. Note that prescription refills for controlled substances must come from your healthcare provider, Amazon Pharmacy cannot initiate those, and you can’t get Schedule II prescriptions, such as opiods, through Amazon Pharmacy at all.

There are some other things that you cannot currently get through Amazon Pharmacy, including compounded medications, medical devices, diabetes supplies, liquid medicines, and prescriptions for your pets.

If you want to check out Amazon Pharmacy, or to get started signing up for Amazon Pharmacy, go here.

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