Previously, we discussed Amazon’s plans to crack down on counterfeits in an effort to take over luxury fashion. In addition to luxury, Amazon has its sights set on overtaking the prescription market. In 2018, Amazon bought an internet pharmacy called PillPack. At the end of 2019, it introduced “Amazon Pharmacy” branding to the service.
According to CNBC, “The change to the brand implies Amazon has greater ambition in pharmacy beyond the PillPack product,” said pharmacy expert Stephen Buck, who has worked in the industry for more than a decade.”
“Amazon Pharmacy could be a pharmacy that dispenses all kinds of packages and prescriptions,” said Buck. “It could also become a marketplace of pharmacies.”
How does it work?
Today, PillPack specializes in fulfilling multiple prescriptions and mailing them to customers in clearly labeled packages so they remember to take their pills at the appropriate times.
- You send your list of medications, doctor information, insurance and payment method
- Amazon transfers your prescriptions and sets up your service
- Amazon coordinates with your doctors and insurance to gather your prescriptions
- Amazon schedules your first shipment and orders your refills
- Amazon packages your medication by time of day and sends them to you
- There’s no cost for the service. You only pay your standard copays or out-of-pocket expenses
Prescriptions + more!
For most Americans, picking up a prescription involves a stop by the local pharmacy. The catch is that when you visit for your prescriptions you almost always end up buying additional items. With PillPack, you can include other pharmacy items such as over the counter creams, ointments, and supplements like Biotin, Fish Oil, and daily vitamins.
This is big for Amazon because now they can start selling you into other everyday items you would typically pick up for yourself. Amazon wants to be your “everything” store. They are always working to get you to buy more items. By becoming Amazon Pharmacy they are likely going to make bigger strides with general store items.
Another incentive to buy your healthcare needs on Amazon is their FSA/HSA store. For easy access, you can add your Flexible Spending and Health Spending Account cards as a payment option. To note, not all healthcare products on Amazon are FSA or HSA eligible. A list of FSA or HSA eligible products can be found here. Eligible products also display the label "FSA or HSA Eligible" on the product page.
Prescription drugs is such a big market and Amazon looks at every big market and figures out if there’s a place for them to play. Consumers buy a lot of their basic supplements on Amazon already. One of the few reasons to leave the house is to pick up your prescriptions. And now, you don’t need to do that either.
Within a few months, Amazon has worked to take over drugstores that sell inexpensive items all the way to the luxury market that Barney’s is leaving behind – and everything in between. This is another big move for Amazon to overtake all other retailers!