Amazon just launched RxPass, a new program that lets Prime members ship prescription medications to their homes. The monthly subscription service costs only $5 (not including the Prime membership fee) and includes over 50 generic medications for common conditions, like high blood pressure and anxiety. In fact, more than 150 million Americans already take at least one of the prescriptions available on RxPass. The $5 cost is a flat monthly fee, letting you refill multiple prescriptions at no additional cost. However, keep in mind that this service is only for Prime members, and membership fees cost $14.99 a month or $139 a year.
Currently available in 42 states, RxPass is Amazon’s latest push into the healthcare industry. In 2020, Amazon began mailing discounted prescription medications through its Amazon Pharmacy. Then, at the end of 2022, the company unveiled Amazon Clinic which offers users message-based consultations with clinicians for a range of conditions.
With RxPass, generic medications are heavily discounted — at up to 68% off. If you don’t have insurance, pay out of pocket for medications, or don’t have your medications covered by your insurance policy you could potentially save big by opting to get your general prescriptions through Amazon this way. However, if you are covered by a government-funded insurance policy, like Medicare or Medicaid, you won’t be able to use RxPass at this time. Additionally, you won’t be able to use your HSA or FSA with RxPass either, as it’s not considered a substitute for insurance.
Overall, while RxPass offers heavy discounts on generic brand drugs, you won't see the same discounts for the expensive brand-name drugs, which according to CNN, “drive the bulk of US prescription drug spending.” So, while RxPass probably won’t push down spending on drugs that aren't facing competition from generic medications, it is likely to drive more healthcare spending towards Amazon, boosting memberships and encouraging customers to spend more on other products.
Erin pairs personal experience with research and is passionate about sharing personal finance advice with others. Previously, she was a freelancer focusing on the credit card side of finance, but has branched out since then to cover other aspects of personal finance. Erin is well-versed in traditional media with reporting, interviewing and research, as well as using graphic design and video and audio storytelling to share with her readers.
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