Amazon Pharmacy Shakes Up the Industry


Forbes | November 17, 2020


Amazon unveiled Amazon Pharmacy for customers to buy prescription drugs on its site with Prime members getting unlimited, free two-day deliveries. The news took a toll on shares of drugstore chains CVS Health, Walgreens Boots Alliance, and Rite Aid.


Nearly 70% of consumers who regularly take prescription medication said they pick up prescriptions at their local pharmacies with 29% saying they get it by mail, almost three-fifths of Amazon Prime members said they would consider having their prescriptions delivered by Amazon if the service was to became available, according to a Cowen & Co.’s survey of 2,500 consumers in September. Amazon anticipates gaining new Prime members among those 55 years and older, where the “Prime penetration” is the lowest.


Amazon said it will give discounts of up to 80% off generic drugs and 40% off brand name medications to Prime members when they pay without insurance. Amazon said the discounts can also be used in more than 50,000 participating pharmacies, including CVS, Walgreens and Walmart. Amazon said customers can also compare drug prices, including branded and generic versions, and have phone access to pharmacists 24 hours. Health services have been looking to differentiate and Amazon is here to disrupt the industry.


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