Amazon threatens pharmacies with ‘unlimited drug’ subscription

Now Amazon.com is also an online pharmacy. The e-commerce brand is launching a new subscription in the United States allowing you to obtain an unlimited selection of 80 prescription drugs. The RxPass service, reserved for Amazon Prime customers, is charged an additional $5 per month.

Among the selection of drugs are antibiotics, drugs against hypertension, anxiolytics or vitamins. The complete list is available by clicking on this link. In the event of a chronic condition, subscribers are entitled to the automatic renewal of their prescription with delivery of the drugs every month directly to their home, without additional intervention.

Amazon set to disrupt drug sales

The launch of the initiative in the United States, where health coverage is generally much worse than on this side of the Atlantic, is not surprising. For many Americans, especially those affected by chronic illnesses, healthcare costs are quickly becoming unsustainable. Not everything is necessarily covered, and when it is, you often have to pay for certain drugs anyway.

The $5 per month Amazon RxPass offer never costs customers more, no matter how much medicine they need. In this, Amazon potentially overshadows both pharmacies, which could hardly offer something similar, and complementary health insurance – or at least their drug reimbursement model. Even if we note that the RxPass drug offer would benefit from being reinforced.

For the time being, however, Amazon is still not authorized to sell drugs in France – pharmacies can therefore breathe, at least for the moment. On the other hand, there are already many parapharmacy articles on the platform with attractive prices. And it is clear that the COVID-19 pandemic, and the containment measures, have underlined the value of allowing the sale of medicines online more widely.

The sale of drugs online is highly regulated in France. It can only be practiced by pharmacies registered with the order and under conditions. Prescription drugs are usually physically pick-up. Amazon having already demonstrated on many occasions its ability to disrupt existing distribution circuits, any relaxation of the law would undoubtedly benefit from a real reflection on the framework to be put in place so that all those involved in the sale drugs online can really be on a level playing field.

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