Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) took a major step toward its pharmaceutical service sector of business on Tuesday. How? The company announced Amazon Pharmacy, a new store on Amazon that allows consumers to have a complete pharmacy experience on their computer or phone.
According to the release, Amazon is using a secure platform where “customers can add their insurance information, manage prescriptions, and choose payment options before checking out.” In terms of insurance, the company says it accepts “most insurance plans.” And when it comes to available drugs, Amazon will have an assortment of generic and brand-name medications.
However, it will not carry the following items:
- Breast pumps
- Compounded medications
- Diabetic testing and administration supplies (e.g. test strips, glucose meters and pen needles)
- Medical devices (e.g. braces, insulin pumps and nebulizers)
- Pet prescriptions
- REMS medications
- Schedule II-controlled medications
- Specialty medications
- Suspensions (e.g. liquid amoxicillin or fluconazole)
- Vitamins and over-the-counter (OTC) items
Moreover, Amazon Pharmacy will be available in 45 states. One other thing to note is that it will not give customers a 90-day refill unless specified by their primary physician. That said, Amazon will instead allow for 30-day refills.
Amazon Pharmacy Takes PillPack Buy Further
Additionally, the firm also announced a number of different savings benefits for Amazon Prime members on Amazon Pharmacy. This includes major savings when paying without insurance like 80% off generic and 40% off brand-name medications. Prime members also receive unlimited, two-day shipping. And members can access savings at more than 50,000 other pharmacies across the U.S.
Meanwhile, non-Prime customers can get their medications with free, five-day delivery — or pay $5.99 for two-day shipping.
TJ Parker, vice president of Amazon Pharmacy, had this to say about the AMZN stock news:
“We designed Amazon Pharmacy to put customers first — bringing Amazon’s customer obsession to an industry that can be inconvenient and confusing. We work hard behind the scenes to handle complications seamlessly so anyone who needs a prescription can understand their options, place their order for the lowest available price, and have their medication delivered quickly.”
On the other hand, retail pharmacy companies are hurting on Tuesday after this move by Amazon. Drugstore stocks such as CVS Health (NYSE:CVS), GoodRx Holdings (NASDAQ:GDRX) and Rite Aid (NYSE:RAD) are taking a beating.
Overall, this move has been in the works for a few years. Amazon acquired PillPack in 2018 to truly kick off its pharmacy aspirations. And now, two years later, Amazon Pharmacy is here.
AMZN stock was up less than 1% as of Tuesday morning.
On the date of publication, Nick Clarkson did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article.
Nick Clarkson is a web editor at InvestorPlace.