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Amazon Launches Amazon Pharmacy

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Amazon.com, Inc. on Tuesday announced its expansion into the healthcare industry with the launch of Amazon Pharmacy, a new online store on Amazon that will allow customers to order prescription medications for home delivery.

Prime members will receive unlimited, free two-day delivery on orders from Amazon Pharmacy included with their membership. In addition, a new "Amazon Prime prescription savings benefit" will give Prime members savings of up to 80 percent on medications when paying without insurance.

In pre-market activity, shares of traditional drug store retailers such as CVS Health Corp., Rite Aid Corp. and Walgreens are tumbling in a range of 7 percent to 11 percent following the news.

Amazon Pharmacy will allow customers to complete an entire pharmacy transaction on their desktop or mobile device through the Amazon App. Customers can use a secure pharmacy profile to add their insurance information, manage prescriptions, and choose payment options before checking out.

The medications require a prescription from a licensed health care provider. The orders will be delivered by Amazon to the customer's preferred address.

Amazon said customers can ask their prescriber to send new or existing prescriptions directly to Amazon Pharmacy for fulfilment. Customers will have online self-service help options, with phone access to customer care at any time.

PillPack, an online pharmacy acquired by Amazon in 2018, is part of Amazon Pharmacy and will remain a distinct service for customers who manage multiple daily medications for chronic conditions.

Customers who take multiple daily medications and prefer pre-sorted dose packaging must continue to choose PillPack.

The Amazon Prime prescription savings benefit on Amazon Pharmacy will offer Prime members discounts of up to 80 percent on generic medications and up to 40 percent on brand-name medications when paying without insurance. Prime members can also access savings on medications at over 50,000 other participating pharmacies nationwide.

Amazon noted that the savings benefit is administered by Inside Rx, a subsidiary of Evernorth. Prime members will have access to their prescription savings at checkout on Amazon Pharmacy.

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