Amazon’s $5 Monthly Plan to Deepen Giant’s Foray into Healthcare eCommerce

May 30, 2023 12:31:48

Amazon Prime members in the United States will soon be able to buy a variety of generic medications and enjoy doorstep delivery in exchange for a $5 monthly fee. The e-commerce giant recently announced the launch of a new program called RxPass that would grant U.S. Prime members access to more than 50 medications.

Speaking to Reuters, Vin Gupta, Amazon Pharmacy chief medical officer, said that the medication provided by the platform can be used to treat more than 80 chronic conditions. These include diabetes, male pattern baldness, anxiety and high blood pressure — conditions that tend to affect a lot of Americans.

The announcement marks Amazon’s most recent foray into the healthcare industry. It began in 2018 when the online retailer acquired the online pharmacy PillPack and began setting up a pharmaceutical price comparison site and a prescription-delivery service. In November 2022, Amazon announced that it was launching a telehealth platform called Amazon Clinic that would connect healthcare providers with patients suffering from more than 20 common conditions. The platform wouldn’t take insurance from customers and would operate on a cash-only basis.

Amazon’s new RxPass program will not be available for customers who are enrolled in government healthcare programs such as Medicaid and Medicare. According to Amazon Pharmacy’s vice president John Love, Prime members in the U.S. will save an average of $100 per year by signing up with the RxPass program. On top of the $5 monthly charge, members would also have to pay $139 per year for an Amazon Prime account.

Love noted that Amazon believes its new program will benefit a significant number of Americans, especially those suffering from chronic illnesses that require regular treatment to remain under control. The program would allow patients to purchase the medication they need and have it delivered to their doorsteps at relatively low costs, he said.

Coupled with its price comparison and prescription-delivery service, Amazon’s new program could allow the company to compete with established prescription retailers such as Walgreens Boots Alliance and CVS Health Corp.

While Amazon claims its entry into healthcare is meant to provide consumers with cheap but effective medication, some people aren’t comfortable with the data-privacy implications. Amazon already has a history of not protecting confidential consumer data, and the new health initiative will grant the company access to deeply personal consumer data.

Data-privacy and protection expert Debbie Reynolds says that Amazon will be able to access all the data provided by patients while searching for a healthcare provider because this information isn’t protected by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA).

With Amazon welcoming partnerships with a variety of healthcare ecommerce platform providers such as NextPlat Corp. (NASDAQ: NXPL) (NASDAQ: NXPLW), the way people access different services related to healthcare could be set for a major transformation over the coming years.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to NextPlat Corp. (NASDAQ: NXPL) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/NXPL

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