Amazon is expanding its healthcare push by offering a $5 monthly unlimited delivery pass on 60 common generic prescription drugs used to treat allergies, inflammation, high blood pressure, and other ailments.
RXPass, Amazon’s new delivery service, was announced on Tuesday and will be available immediately in most states except California, Texas, Minnesota, and others with specific prescription delivery requirements. Customers enrolled in Medicare, Medicaid, or any other government healthcare programme will be unable to enrol in the benefit.
According to healthcare analysts and economists, the programme is likely to save customers money on low-cost generic drugs but will not affect prices for more expensive brand-name drugs, which account for the majority of US prescription drug spending. They also anticipate Amazon losing money on the service, but see other advantages.
The $5-per-month delivery pass is an add-on to Amazon Prime, Amazon’s $139 annual programme, and is only available to Prime subscribers, regardless of insurance status.
Amazon has long provided a Prime prescription savings benefit, which allows customers to save money on generic and brand-name medications. According to the company, its new generic delivery programme is aimed at customers who take multiple prescriptions to manage chronic conditions and pay for their medications out of pocket.
Bupropion, Cephalexin, Doxycycline, Estradiol, and Sertraline are among the generic drugs included in the programme.
Although generic drugs accounted for approximately 86% of all US prescriptions in 2022 by volume, they accounted for only 20% of prescription drug spending, according to Evercore analyst Elizabeth Anderson in a note to clients on Tuesday.
“The set of generics in Amazon’s new programme represents 32% of generic drugs in 2021, and is likely a loss leader for Amazon,” she said, referring to the programme as an “incremental pharmacy experiment” for the company.
According to her, Amazon has focused its efforts on generics because competing with health insurers and other companies on branded and speciality drugs is more difficult.
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