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Amazon launches RxPass

Prime members can now receive all eligible medications for a monthly $5 fee with free delivery

In the latest salvo by retailers to boost their pharmacy activities, Amazon has launched its RxPass initiative which gives Prime members low-cost access to medications.

The program from Amazon Pharmacy covers commonly prescribed generic medications that treat more than 80 common health conditions, including high blood pressure, anxiety, and acid reflux.

Members can receive all eligible medications for a monthly fee of $5 with free delivery.  

Amazon estimated that more than 150 million Americans take one or more of the medications available through the RxPass program, which also includes items to treat high cholesterol and triglyceride levels, enlarged prostates, fluid retention, fungal infections, and heart rhythm issues.

Amazon indicated that there is a large market for pharmacy savings programs, citing reports that nearly half of all adults take two or more medications each day and that one-quarter of adults find it difficult to afford the medications they need.

Prime members can enroll in the program and verify their eligibility and prescription information via their Amazon Pharmacy profile. In addition to RxPass, Amazon Pharmacy is enabling Prime members to get discounts of up to 80% off generic and 40% off brand name medications at more than 60,000 participating pharmacies nationwide, the company said.

Amazon Prime members pay $14.99 per month or $139 per year to receive such benefits as free two-day shipping from Amazon Pharmacy, fast fresh grocery delivery, and in-store savings on select groceries at Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods Market stores. Additional benefits include free delivery on millions of Amazon items, unlimited streaming of movies, live sports, and ad-free listening of 100 million songs and millions of podcast episodes.

Amazon’s RxPass program is part of the ongoing move by retailers to solidify their health care operations.

Kroger Health in December extended its arrangement with pharmacy benefits manager Family of Pharmacies and Prime Therapeutics LLC (Prime) to provide medically necessary prescriptions for Kroger’s more than 17 million patients.

Kroger said the initiative will increase health access, deliver pricing transparency, and ensure affordable prices for commercial, Medicare and Medicaid customers.

In addition, Hy-Vee Executive Chairman Randy Edeker recently told Supermarket News that health care is a major focus for the company. In December 2021, Hy-Vee launched its RedBox Rx subsidiary that provides low-cost telehealth and online pharmacy services, and ships prescribed treatments directly to patients’ homes.

Its newest subsidiary, Hy-Vee Health Care LLC, is designed to bring synergies around the retailer’s health brands, he said.

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