Amazon Pharmacy has announced that it will start automatically applying manufacturer coupons to brand-name drugs for eligible buyers.
- Amazon Pharmacy is working with GSK, Kaléo, Novo Nordisk, and Dexcom to integrate coupons for their brand-name medications—including Trelegy, AUVI-Q, Wegovy, G6, and G7 continuous glucose monitoring systems, according to TechCrunch.
- The coupons will be provided directly from the drug manufacturers and will be automatically applied to a customer’s online purchase.
- There are some restrictions, as coupons may work with a patient’s insurance, but whether a particular medication is covered under an insurance plan depends on the insurance provider, according to Amazon Pharmacy.
- Customers receiving Medicare, Medicaid, or Medicare Part D benefits will not be eligible for the coupons.
Why it’s news
The prescription drug market is growing rapidly, and the competition is fierce, as many online startups are aiming to deliver low-cost drugs. Plus, consumers are overwhelmed with the number of coupons available to them, to the extent that the vast majority of coupons go unused.
Amazon Pharmacy aims to make it easier for customers to take advantage of prescription drug coupons by automatically adding discounts to the products for eligible customers.
A recent Massachusetts Health Policy Commission study found that patients only used manufacturer-sponsored coupons 15% of the time they were available to them. To help customers take advantage, Amazon recently announced that it will be automatically adding manufacturer coupons to brand-name drugs.
“Now, eligible patients can seamlessly access savings on novel, brand-name therapies for the treatment of diabetes, asthma, emphysema, obesity, and other conditions,” says Amazon in a blog post. “Amazon Pharmacy will automatically apply these coupons at checkout when eligible, meaning patients no longer have the burden of finding and applying coupons, and can focus on managing their care. No clipping, clicking, or downloading.”
Manufacturers set coupon savings and can decide which medications receive discounts and can discontinue the coupon at any time. Amazon urges customers to check back frequently for coupons as it’s working with manufacturers to expand availability.
There are restrictions with the coupons as some discounts are only eligible under specific insurances, but Amazon will automatically apply the coupon if it works with a customer’s insurance plan.
Customers receiving Medicare, Medicaid, or Medicare Part D benefits will not be eligible for the discounts.
Although some customers will not qualify, Amazon Pharmacy provides discounts on generic and non-generic meds, up to 80% and 40%, respectively, through its Prime prescription savings.
Earlier this year, the company launched a $5 monthly subscription that allows unlimited delivery of 60 generic prescription drugs—RXPass.
The new service is available in most states except California, Texas, Minnesota, and others, where regulations prevent the service.
Similarly to the coupon service, those receiving benefits from Medicare, Medicaid, or other government healthcare assistance programs are not eligible for the program.
The company also recently completed its $3.9-billion acquisition of One Medical, which owns and operates more than 220 primary-care offices in 28 U.S. markets.
One Medical had 836,000 members at the end of the fourth quarter, a 14% year-over-year increase, and made $1 billion in net revenue last year, a 68% increase from 2021.
In its new capacity with Amazon, One Medical will offer a special discount of $144 for the first year of service, a typical price of $199 per year. The price will include “24/7 virtual care via messaging or video” and access to offices in “many cities” and other services, Amazon reports.