Amazon now offers a subscription service that ships unlimited prescribed medication to US customers.
The service, called RxPass, costs $5 a month and is exclusive to Prime members – meaning you must pay for the Prime membership first, and RxPass costs an extra $5. However, the cost doesn’t increase even if you order multiple times a month, and it already includes the cost of delivery.
The service provides generic medication for over 80 common health conditions, such as anxiety, hair loss, acid reflux, and high blood pressure. After selecting the medications you need, they can be delivered automatically monthly or quarterly. And of course, the service can be canceled at any moment.
According to an article by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) referenced in the original blog post by Amazon, “nearly half of adults take two or more medications each day, and one-quarter of adults say they find it difficult to afford the medications they need.”
As explained in the blog post, the service aims to offer an easy and affordable solution for common health issues, avoiding the need to rely on insurance or go to the pharmacy yourself – which is impossible for some conditions. It also diminishes the need to rely on other people to go out and buy medication for you.
Dr. Vin Gupta, Chief Medical Officer at Amazon Pharmacy, states:
“Over the last decade as a practicing pulmonologist, I have seen patients with chronic diseases struggle to get access to the basic medications they need to live their lives well. Navigating insurance can be a maze and getting to the pharmacy a burden. Sometimes that has led to poor outcomes: New medications don’t get filled, refills don’t get picked up, and patients suffer. Aspects of our health care system make what should be easy, difficult. It’s why I feel so fortunate to be a part of the change that Amazon Pharmacy is helping to bring to this space.” (Source: About Amazon)
They also highlight that RxPass does not use health insurance, so customers don’t have to worry about deductibles or copay – the cost is always a flat $5 a month. Furthermore, Amazon pharmacists and support are on 24/7 to answer questions and coordinate with the patient’s doctor.
The complete list of available medications on RxPass can be found on the Amazon Pharmacy website. It currently includes 60 generic medications.
To be clear, RxPass is not insurance. But for those paying more than $5 a month for their medication, it’s a great alternative that can save money and time.
One major limitation is that anyone who has government-funded insurance such as Medicare or Medicaid cannot subscribe to RxPass. However, Amazon Pharmacy can still be used to purchase medication with copay and deductibles. And you cannot use insurance to pay for the subscription, it has to come from your own pocket.
Similarly, RxPass currently cannot send medications to the states of California, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Washington. However, Amazon Pharmacy is available in all of these states too.
Amazon hasn’t mentioned any plans to expand this service beyond the US at the moment.