Amazon is launching a new program for users to obtain prescription drugs.
On Tuesday, the massive e-commerce company announced an online pharmacy that lets users buy common prescriptions online, such as pills or creams, and have it delivered to their doorstep in days. The move is expected to threaten the market share of large traditional pharmacies, including Walgreens and CVS.
“We wanted to make it easy for people to get their medication, understand the cost, and get it delivered to the home. The hard work is to make it easy. … There were a number of complications behind the scenes,” said TJ Parker, the vice president of Amazon’s pharmacy.
The service will be available in 45 states, excluding Kentucky, Hawaii, Minnesota, Louisiana, and Illinois. However, the company is anticipated to provide those states with the service with time.
Amazon customers who use the service will need a doctor to send the prescription to the online commerce company. They accept most forms of insurance and will offer price discounts on drugs to those without it. Prime users can also use their health savings account to purchase prescriptions.
Prime users get free two-day delivery for prescriptions, but two-day shipping for regular customers will cost $5.99. Free delivery is only provided to non-Prime users with a shipping timespan of three to five business days. Amazon Prime members will additionally receive up to a 40% discount on brand-name prescriptions and an 80% discount on generic medicine.
Amazon will not deliver Schedule II controlled substances, including opioids.
“We think this new benefit will add tremendous value to our members. It’s relevant as folks try to do more from the comfort and safety of their homes,” said the vice president of Amazon Prime Jamil Ghani.
Before making their first prescription purchase, users will need to provide some information required by law, including their date of birth, whether or not they’re pregnant, and their sex.