Amazon is expanding into healthcare with a prescription plan but a Farmville pharmacy sees some concerns

Amazon launches prescription drug service for prime users.
Amazon launches prescription drug service for prime users.(N/A)
Published: Jan. 25, 2023 at 7:16 PM EST
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FARMVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - Amazon has launched a $5.00 per-month unlimited, generic prescription drug delivery service. The new service, Rxpass, will offer delivery of about 60 generic drugs, such as the average anti-inflammatory, antibiotics, and high blood pressure medications.

The program won’t use insurance. However, people with government-funded coverage are not eligible, such as Medicaid or Medicare. Some people we talked with have concerns about the delivery service.

“Your blood pressure medicine that you’ve got to have, where if you didn’t order it in time or if the mail didn’t get it to you in time, then you without your medicine, you don’t know how many days,” said Jay Johnson, a Farmville resident.

Staci Garner, the owner of Pharmville Drugs, said she’s also a little hesitant about Amazon’s plans since she says there will not be face-to-face interaction.

“There has to be a pharmacist or staff to be available for counseling on prescriptions if the patient needs it, wants it, requests it,” said Garner.

Healthcare experts believe the program can save customers money on low-cost generic drugs but likely won’t impact the cost of more expensive brand-name drugs.

However, Garner says some customers may try it out, but she’s not sure the idea will stick.

“Sure, it may take some customers, but I feel like they’ll be back because medications won’t be shipped on time. We have a lot of issues with that with mail-order pharmacies. In general, they offer zero copays, but then when the patients get it, it may be a week after it’s due and we end up having to supplement the patient’s medications,” said Garner.

Amazon prime is currently $139.00 per year without the new prescription service. While launching its own pharmacy in 2020, according to the company, it’s now targeting customers with multiple prescriptions who have to pay out of pocket for their medications.