Amazon Plans to Offer 6-Month, Discount Generic Rx Fills

Amazon.com, Inc. launched a long-anticipated expansion of its pharmacy business on June 8, saying it will allow Prime members to purchase up to six-month supplies of generic prescription drugs for $6. Experts say Amazon is well positioned to claim substantial market share in the growing prescription drug delivery market, which incumbent players have already begun to target.

Industry watchers have argued over the notion that the web retailer would make a disruptive move into the pharmacy space ever since Amazon acquired PillPack in 2018. Experts tell AIS Health that Amazon’s well-developed logistics and internet retail abilities mean it will be a formidable player.

“I love the model,” Ashraf Shehata, national sector leader for health care and life sciences at KMPG, tells AIS Health, a division of MMIT. Shehata expects that Amazon will offer “almost a branded generic, although it’s branded by the distributor, not the manufacturer. I wouldn’t be surprised if we’re going to see an Amazon Basics side of this — they already have a branded category for other commodities that would fit nicely into this.”

© 2024 MMIT
Peter Johnson

Peter Johnson

Peter has worked as a journalist since 2011 and has covered health care since 2020. At AIS Health, Peter covers trends in finance, business and policy that affect the health insurance and pharma sectors. For Health Plan Weekly, he covers all aspects of the U.S. health insurance sector, including employer-sponsored insurance, Medicaid managed care, Medicare Advantage and the Affordable Care Act individual marketplaces. In Radar on Drug Benefits, Peter covers the operations of (and conflicts between) pharmacy benefit managers and pharmaceutical manufacturers, with a particular focus on pricing dynamics and market access. Before joining AIS Health, Peter covered transportation, public safety and local government for various outlets in Seattle, his hometown and current place of residence. He graduated with a B.A. from Colby College.

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