You are currently viewing Amazon to conquer e-health: the launch of RxPass

On January 24, Amazon launched the online service RxPass. It is a 5-dollar per month subscription (for Amazon Prime customers) that allows them to obtain generic prescription drugs in limited quantities at no additional cost. The company estimates that the subscription will save customers about 100 dollars per year. RX Pass is Amazon’s “latest effort to help patients save time, save money and stay healthy.”

These drugs are used to treat over 80 common health problems (e.g. anxiety, acid reflux). The service works much like any pharmacy: pharmacists employed by Amazon are available 24/7 to answer subscribers’ questions about their medications and can act as a liaison with their doctors. The clients all receive their medications at their front door in a very short period of time.

More than 150,000,000 million Americans take one or more of these drugs occasionally or regularly. They are Amazon’s target: they don’t need a health insurer to get the drugs once they are a member. On the other hand, Americans with Medicare or MediAid (the two most important health insurance programs in the U.S.) will not be able to purchase the membership. So, if RxPass is a success, Amazon could clearly compete with these health insurance giants!

The launch of RxPass marks another step in Amazon’s conquest of the e-health world. In 2018, they bought PillPAck, an online pharmacy selling prescription drugs. Amazon made a very good deal there, as COVID-19 forced people to not leave their homes and buy massively online. Last summer, they acquired One Medical, another online health service. With a subscription fee of 199 dollars per year, subscribers have 24/7 access to on-demand telehealth services and guaranteed appointments within 24 hours at a doctor’s office. However, in its drive to become an e-health giant, Amazon has also suffered some setbacks. As an example, their failure to acquire Signify Health, a platform for getting home health care. They were beaten to the punch by CVS, an American pharmaceutical company.

Finally, when we know that health care and medication are very expensive in the United States and that 51 million Americans are not covered by health insurance, this service has the potential to be very attractive. However, buying drugs from Amazon means giving the American giant a lot of health information. What will Amazon do with all this sensitive data, we’ll see.

 

Sources :

Amazon livre désormais les médicaments pour 5 dollars mensuels (siecledigital.fr)

Introducing RxPass: Amazon Pharmacy launches a new $5 prescription subscription for Prime members (aboutamazon.com)

A propos de Anne Boutin