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Amazon starts drug subscription service for Prime members

Jan. 24, 2023 Updated Tue., Jan. 24, 2023 at 11:20 a.m.

A worker collects an Amazon Prime customer order package from a conveyor at an Amazon.com Inc. fulfillment center in Frankenthal, Germany, in October 2020.  (Thorsten Wagner/Bloomberg)
A worker collects an Amazon Prime customer order package from a conveyor at an Amazon.com Inc. fulfillment center in Frankenthal, Germany, in October 2020. (Thorsten Wagner/Bloomberg)
By Matt Day Bloomberg

Amazon.com has started a $5-per-month drug subscription service for Prime members, the e-commerce giant’s latest foray into health care.

Called RxPass, the service lets patients order generic medications that treat more than 80 common health conditions, the company said in a statement Tuesday. Customers need to be members of Amazon’s $139-a-year Prime service to join and will be entitled to free delivery.

RxPass is available in most U.S. states but for now excludes a number of heavily populated ones, including California, Pennsylvania and Texas. The program’s web page lists a menu of 53 available medications.

“We are excited to offer our customers surprisingly simple, low pricing on the eligible medications they need each month,” said John Love, vice president of Amazon Pharmacy.

Amazon for years has been trying to break into the health-care industry. It purchased mail-order pharmacy PillPack in 2018 and joined a much ballyhooed health-care venture with JPMorgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway that fizzled out after three years.

The company also developed a telehealth and home health service, called Amazon Care, that wound down after operating for a little more than a year. Amazon is now trying to purchase the parent of the One Medical line of medical clinics for $3.49 billion.

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