Insulin Patients Can Find Discounts With Amazon's New Automated Coupon System

Amazon Pharmacy will automatically apply manufacturer-sponsored coupons for 15-plus products.

Pill bottle labeled "Insulin" lying on its side with pills spilling out.
(Image credit: Wladimir Bulgar/Science Photo Library, Getty Images)

Amazon Pharmacy said it will now automatically apply manufacturer-sponsored coupons on more than 15 of the most prescribed insulin and diabetes care brand-name products to eligible customers for a price starting at $35 a month. 

Manufacturer-sponsored coupons are also available for other brand-name therapies including those for the treatment of COPD and obesity, the company said in a statement.

Finding and redeeming coupons for diabetes medications is not easy, and about 85% of manufacturer-sponsored coupons go unused, the company said. But Amazon said its technology automatically applies eligible coupons at checkout so that customers – whether insured, underinsured or uninsured – do not need to take any action to get the savings, it added.

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Novo Nordisk, Eli Lilly among sponsors

Products under the program include insulin vials, pens, continuous glucose monitors and pumps by manufacturers Novo Nordisk, Eli Lilly, Sanofi, Dexcom and Insulet.

About one in 10 Americans have diabetes and about 8 million use insulin to help manage their condition, according to Amazon. But insulin can be costly and is a financial burden for more than 14% of people who use it in the U.S., the company said.

Charles “Chuck” Henderson, CEO of the American Diabetes Association, praised the move in a statement, saying that 37 million Americans live with diabetes but cannot afford the treatments they need to survive. Amazon has taken an important step to help them easily access the treatments they need through a transparent purchase process that automatically applies any eligible discounts, he said.

“Even though upfront pricing sounds obvious, it’s a sea change in health care,” said Dr. Vin Gupta, Amazon Pharmacy chief medical officer. The program will make the cost of insulin more transparent for patients, he said. 

“If the cost isn’t what they anticipate, we can more quickly find other options that are affordable and appropriate to their care,” Gupta said. “Automatically applying coupons allows patients to better access medications that are effective and affordable, and this combination can improve adherence and support better care.”

Earlier this month, Amazon announced that its telehealth service, Amazon Clinic, has expanded to all 50 U.S. states and Washington D.C., providing Americans with round-th-clock access for 35 common health concerns.

Launched in November 2022, the clinic enabled customers in 32 states to quickly get care for more than 30 common health concerns including allergies, acne, hair loss and more.

Amazon has expanded in the overall healthcare space in recent years including with the purchase in February of One Medical, which offers virtual care services and programs for preventive care, chronic care and more, and the launch of  RxPas, a $5 generic prescription subscription service for Prime members. 

Joey Solitro

Joey Solitro is a freelance financial journalist at Kiplinger with more than a decade of experience. A longtime equity analyst, Joey has covered a range of industries for media outlets including The Motley Fool, Seeking Alpha, Market Realist, and TipRanks. Joey holds a bachelor's degree in business administration.