You read it right! Amazon has officially opened an online pharmacy as of Tuesday, November 18. Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of the multi-national technology company, began to disrupt yet another industry when he bought PillPack two years ago, which organizes medications according to the time and day the medication must be administered. Other pharmacies like Walgreens and CVS, are feeling the pressure to catch up with the convince of home delivery. Until they do, here is what Amazon’s online pharmacy exclusively offers.
What makes Amazon’s online pharmacy revolutionary?
- Commonly used medications- The online pharmacy offers commonly prescribed medications in the U.S., including creams, pills, as well as medications that need to stay refrigerated, such as insulin.
Note: Amazon will NOT ship medications that have a high risk of being abused, such as opioids.
- Easy access- All shoppers need is a profile on Amazon’s website and have their doctors send prescriptions there.
- Insurance acceptance- Most insurance is accepted. If you don’t have insurance, Prime members can purchase generic or brand name drugs at a discount price. They can also get discounts at 50,000 physical pharmacies around the country at Costco, CVS, Walgreens, Walmart, and other stores.
Pharmacies play catch up
The potential impact of Amazon’s arrival in the pharmaceutical space rippled through that sector immediately. The stocks of CVS Health Corp., Walgreens, and Rite Aid all tumbled on Tuesday.
CVS stocks closed Tuesday, November 17, 10 percent lower, while Walgreens dropped nearly 9 percent. In addition to the loss, Rite Aid Corp.’s stock plummeted by more than 16 percent, as the pharmacies watched Amazon’s shares finish on top, growing steadily each day.
Pharmaceutical experts are wary of the effects on other pharmacies. Some agree that Amazon’s shift to the online pharmacy will most likely only affect smaller drugstores that don’t have either the retail giant’s purchasing power or deals that major drugstore chains have with insurers to funnel patients to their stores for prescriptions.
Interested in Amazon’s online pharmacy?
Signing up is easy! All you will need is a list of your medications, your doctor’s information, any insurance information, and a payment method– Amazon will handle the rest. You will receive your medications monthly or as you have been prescribed by your doctor.
Note: Amazon will send your urgent medications right away, but if you choose to use PillPack, it can take up to 2 weeks.