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Amazon Pharmacy opens RXPass to Medicare recipients

The expanded service goes head to head with similar programs offered through pure-play grocers

Amazon Pharmacy announced on Tuesday that it has opened up its prescription drug service, RxPass, to Medicare recipients who are members of Amazon Prime, the retail giant’s membership service. 

RxPass costs $5 a month and offers a variety of common prescription drugs at discounts of up to 80% for generic drugs and 40% of brand name drugs. Medicare recipients who sign up for the service must also be members of Amazon Prime, which costs $14.99 per month or $139 a year. 

The service, launched in January of 2023, includes free delivery and “the ability to connect with a pharmacist 24/7,” the company said. 

Amazon said a Medicare beneficiary who fills one prescription through RxPass could save $70 a year, but that does not include the monthly cost of joining Amazon Prime. 

“Many people don’t realize that even if you have great insurance, you can still save on select medications by using programs like RxPass,” John Love, vice president of Amazon Pharmacy, said in the press release. “The overall cost of medications can be lower, and that’s not even factoring in the time and effort saved from not having to drive to a pharmacy or stand in line.”

The expanded service is Amazon’s latest attempt to break into the pharmaceutical drug market.

Kroger followed suit last summer with RxSense, which offers discounts of up to 85% on thousands of prescriptions. That program is part of The Kroger Company’s revamped Kroger Health Savings Club membership program. Individual memberships in that program run $36 a year and family memberships are $72.  

Lakeland, Fla.-based grocer Publix launched its own discount prescription medication program in September of 2023 through Orlando-based prescription drug service Visory Health. The Publix program similarly offers savings of up to 80% on prescription medications. 

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