Amazon Pharmacy is providing prescription drugs at a lower cost in five states through a new partnership with Blue Cross Blue Shield.
The Verge reports that the retail giant’s pharmacy wing offers a prescription drug discount card to Blue Cross Blue Shield customers in New Jersey, Nebraska, Alabama, Florida, and Kansas. The partnership will allow customers to get discounts through a MedsYourWay card when they use Amazon Pharmacy. Additionally, the cost of the drugs will still count toward insurance deductibles.
“They can be free to choose whatever’s cheapest and not have to worry about what applies to their out-of-pocket maximum or the deductible because both apply,” Nworah Ayogu, the chief medical officer for Amazon Pharmacy, said at a health technology conference this week.
While most prescription discount cards work at a network of pharmacies, customers will be able to use the MedsYourWay card at Amazon pharmacies. MedsYourWay is offered through the pharmacy benefit manager Prime Therapeutics, owned by more than a dozen BlueCross Blue Shield health plans.
Amazon Pharmacy started in 2020, two years after purchasing the drug delivery startup Pillpack providing low costs on common prescription drugs and medications based on what they cost to make.
Others getting into the prescription medication game include Dallas Mavericks owner and Shark Tank investor Mark Cuban, who launched his online pharmacy The Cost Plus Drug Co. in January.
“I want to be above break-even while maximizing the number of people who can afford their medications,” Cuban told TechCrunch. “Shoot. I would be happy if we can make a little, but push pricing of generics sold elsewhere down significantly.”
According to BioSpace, prescription drugs saw a price increase of 3.3% in 2021 and a 5.8% increase in 2020. This year, Pfizer, Purdue Pharma, and Gilead have all increased prices on drugs for HIV, breast cancer, cardiovascular issues, and opioids.
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