Amazon began entering the pharmaceutical market with the 2018 acquisition of PillPack. It dove even further into the retail drugstore realm last year when Amazon Pharmacy was created; an option that will now allow customers to compare prices for the medications they need using the huge online platform.
With Amazon Pharmacy, Amazon Prime members will be able to find and compare prices for their prescription drugs at both Amazon Pharmacy and over 60,000 participating pharmacies nationwide. This ability will help members save as much as 80% on their generic prescription brands and up to 40% on brand-name drugs when they are not using insurance to pay for their prescription medications. Before ordering through Amazon Pharmacy, customers can even check their insurance co-pays first and decide on the most cost-effective option for them.
TJ Parker and Elliot Cohen founded PillPack in 2013 when they began considering ways that people could more easily get their prescriptions filled online and have more access to managing their medications themselves. Amazon then bought PillPack a few years later for $1 billion.
The entrepreneurs at PillPack recognized the consumer desire to eliminate the extra step when it comes to working with a pharmacy, and desired to create an ordering process that more closely resembled the ease and convenience of any other online shopping. The Amazon buy-out created that opportunity. Parker, the Vice President of Amazon Pharmacy as well as being a co-founder of PillPack, believes that this new option will give consumers the privacy they want when ordering their prescriptions.
Amazon’s decision to launch their Pharmacy tool to compare prescription medication prices was fueled by a desire to give consumers more of the information needed in order to make decisions about the best medication for their families.
The prescription savings card through Amazon Prime is administered by a company called Inside RX. Inside RX is a subsidiary of Evernorth. Amazon Pharmacy also has a mission of gaining more healthcare partnerships in the future that will lead to more optimized customer experiences. Perhaps there are pharma companies, medical transcription services, and more that have more to offer their customers and that will want a partnership to make these potential solutions a reality.
While brick-and-mortar retail pharmacies will always have a valuable place in the consumer market, the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the growing trend of online shopping and ultimate customer convenience, according to Parker. Now this applies to online pharmacies and quick delivery of medications as well. Parker’s plan is to continue making pharmacies more Amazon-like by focusing on convenience, lower prices, and more options to choose from. Basically, he is taking the format for the Amazon shopping experience and bringing it to pharmaceuticals, too. Medical transcription services have also been more in-demand with the COVID-19 pandemic, as people are doing more and more from home. Contact us if we can help with your transcription needs.