Amazon Launches Online Pharmacy And Drug Delivery

By Victor Omondi

On Tuesday, Inc launched an online pharmacy to deliver prescription medications in the United States. Named Amazon Pharmacy, the new store allows customers to compare prices as they buy drugs on the company’s website or app.

Amazon customers who are members of the loyalty club Prime will get 2-day free shipping on their chosen medications, including discounts of up to 80% on generic drugs and 40% off brand-name drugs.

Customers will be required to create a pharmacy profile, and include their insurance information, where they can easily manage their prescriptions and decide whether they pay their non-insurance price of co-pay.

Amazon’s venture into pharmaceuticals has already affected big drug retailers such as Walgreens, CVS Health, and Walmart. So far, the stocks of CVS, Walgreens, and Rite Aid fell between 8% and 15%.

While the news has disrupted the giant pharmaceuticals retailers, Amazon’s online pharmacy may bring necessary changes to the industry.

“ It’s further evidence that the community pharmacy is shifting to higher-value clinical services,” said David Pope, PharmD, CDE, chief innovation officer of OmniSYS, who is also a Drug Topics® editorial advisory board member.

“And community pharmacy has already begun the process of shifting, not necessarily away from the prescriptive process, but providing new value-added services that separate them as destinations of care, and not simply as the provider and dispensary of medication,” he added.

Due to a rise home delivery services amid the pandemic, Amazon’s new store may take medication delivery to new heights. While independent pharmacies have been in the online space for some time but it’s still unclear how Amazon Pharmacy will affect the competition.

“Will this negatively affect independent community pharmacy? I think it’s too early to tell,” Pope said. “I’m a former independent pharmacist myself. Whenever I think about this, I think about the resilience of the independent pharmacy, the ability to adapt to the existing landscape and ever-changing conditions that has never swayed.”

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Amazon Launches Online Pharmacy And Drug Delivery


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