On November 17th, Amazon announced its plan to launch a digital pharmacy on Amazon.com that that will deliver prescription medications to shoppers all over the United States. The move places the retail giant into direct competition with other major pharmaceutical marketplaces like CVS Health and Walgreens, and increases its competitive edge on Walmart.
The digital store, which will be called Amazon Pharmacy, will allow customers to compare the prices when shopping for medication on their desktop, tablet or mobile phone. Customers will also be able to decide whether they’d like to use their insurance co-pay or receive a deep discount through their Prime membership.
Amazon will add to their portfolio of success in the pharmaceutical industry, building on its acquisition of PillPack. TJ Parker, CEO of the acquired PillPack and Vice President of Amazon Pharmacy, mentioned Amazon’s motivation behind launching the new platform, saying the retailer aimed to bring “customer obsession to an industry that can be inconvenient and confusing.”
The retail giant has received harsh criticisms for entering this industry from the media, but the move comes as no shock to its competitors. However its new rivals aren’t showing signs of being worried about the potential disruption, as CVS revealed in a statement, saying “while pharmacy is a core component of our business, CVS Health is so much more than your corner drug store.”
Walgreens is also well ahead of the curve, boasting in a statement that it already provides customers with free same-day and next-day delivery, along with a host of additional health and wellness solutions to its patients and customers.
Still, Amazon is poised to have tremendous success with the new online marketplace. As governments are now mandating stay-at-home and stricter social distancing protocols, the convenience of ordering your medication online is awfully appealing — especially if you’re a Prime member.
Prime members will enjoy up to 80% off generic and up to 40% off brand name drugs when they buy through Prime. With over 150 million members worldwide, the Amazon Pharmacy is expected to receive a bountiful reception.