Amazon Introduces RxPass To Offer $5 Prescription Medication Delivery Services
- Amazon AMZN AMZN is introducing a $5 prescription medication delivery service for Prime members
- Those on Medicare, Medicaid or other government-funded insurance are not eligible
- There are other options for those looking for low-cost prescriptions, including GoodRx
If you rely on prescription medications to maintain your well-being, a new program can make it simpler and more affordable for you to get what you need. Amazon recently announced the launch of RxPass, a new prescription delivery service designed to save consumers time and money.
Here are the details about RxPass and other alternatives if you don’t qualify for the program—plus how investors can tap into this level of emerging tech with AI-powered investment strategies.
What is RxPass?
Amazon Pharmacy is entering the prescription market through a subscription service called RxPass. Prime members who take multiple generic prescriptions can get eligible medications for $5 per month. Medications are delivered for free. The service has over 50 generic drugs that treat 80 common conditions.
Prime members can shop on Amazon for prescription medications as they would at a traditional pharmacy. A valid prescription is required to order drugs, and a licensed pharmacist dispenses them. Pharmacists are on-call 24 hours a day, seven days a week and communicate with insurers or prescribers whenever necessary.
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Once you place your first order, Amazon regularly delivers it to your address. Prescriptions can be dispensed in amounts for 30 to 90 days and six months. The $5 fee is added to the Amazon Prime membership.
Medications are found on Amazon by searching and looking for a statement that says “Included with RxPass.” Amazon Pharmacy fulfills the prescription and works with insurance providers for payment.
However, not all Prime members are eligible for RxPass. Those with Medicare, Medicaid or another form of government-funded insurance are ineligible for the program.
Additionally, medications can’t be shipped to:
- New Hampshire
The program aims to help people who need prescription medication to maintain their health and quality of life but are paying high prices for their medications. Often, people go without their vital medicines because they can’t afford them.
Other times, people resort to cutting pills in half to extend their supply. For example, if they have a 30-day supply, cutting the pills in half will result in a 60-day supply, helping them to save money. This strategy is usually not good for your health since your doctor prescribes a specific dose for you. By cutting your pills, you are getting half the required dosage.
RxPass makes it easy for people to get their medications conveniently, at an affordable price and regularly.
This is not Amazon’s first step in health care
The company entered the health care field with its Amazon Care program in 2019. It started the service as a test program for employees living in and around company headquarters in Seattle. The service provided telehealth services for consultations and urgent care visits. It also offered in-home visits for minor health care services for a small fee.
Amazon Care was expanded to all 50 states. However, the program was eventually shuttered.
Neil Lindsay, senior vice president of the division, said that Amazon Care couldn’t offer the kind of comprehensive care that Amazon was seeking to provide for its employees, much less meet the needs of the enterprise customers it was looking to sign on for services.
Amazon also attempted to provide health care at a reasonable cost through a joint venture with JP Morgan and Berkshire Hathaway BRK.B called Haven Healthcare. This venture also failed, partly due to timing since it was introduced right before the pandemic. The other obstacle was a lack of power to force lower prices.
The future of health care with Amazon
Even though Amazon shut down its Amazon Care program, it hasn’t given up on entering the health care market. It recently acquired One Medical, a telehealth company that provides primary care services to over 8,000 employers.
The One Medical acquisition gives Amazon an entry into providing health care for Medicare patients. The company was interested in buying Signify Health, a home health care provider, but CVS reached a deal first.
Amazon has been attempting to get into the health care industry for some time. The closure of its Amazon Care program is more representative of its acknowledgment that it couldn’t build a health care network from the ground up. Instead, the company is changing direction and buying established health care operations that offer services in areas Amazon seeks to enter.
Alternatives to RxPass
Amazon is the latest contender in the prescription medication discount service. It joins GoodRx, WebMDRx and Cost Plus Drugs. Plus, it is competing with the National League of Cities (NLC), which has created a discount prescription network administered by CVS and offered through municipalities.
The discount prescription service field is a crowded one. Amazon is looking to leverage its ability to deliver medications cheaply and conveniently through its distribution and delivery network to compete. It’s going up against Walmart’s WMT $4 generic prescription program, which offers the same medications as Amazon but does not offer a delivery service.
It remains to be seen if customers are willing to pay the extra $1 for the convenience of delivery.
Should you invest in Amazon for health care exposure?
Some investors might be intrigued by Amazon’s commitment to health care and want to invest in the company. While this is understandable, it is important to know that it will take time for Amazon’s investments to show up in the bottom line. Additionally, as seen with Amazon Care, it might never show up.
An alternative option is to invest in a fund with health care exposure, like Q.ai’s Value Vault Kit. This Kit uses artificial intelligence to spot trends in the market each week to take advantage of changing market conditions.
The Value Vault Kit invests in companies that meet the following criteria:
- Low relative valuations to both earnings and cash flow
- High returns on invested capital
- Mature, predictable business models
Investing in this Kit diversifies you across various industries, and thanks to the optional Portfolio Protection hedge that the Kit offers, you can help preserve your gains.
The bottom line
Amazon offers many services that make our lives easier. With RxPass, they are attempting to do this with prescription medications.
While the service will help to save you money, not everyone qualifies. The good news is there are other alternatives out there to consider as well.
Download Q.ai today for access to AI-powered investment strategies.
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