Amazon opens online pharmacy, shaking up another industry- should healthcare remain locally ?

I have always had a concern about mail order pharmacies.. first of all… all medications have temp storage requirement typically in the mid-50’s to mid-70’s. These storage requirements have to be met by the pharma, wholesaler & the pharmacy.  But, when a pharmacy hands off a packaging of Rx meds to a delivery service… NO ONE has a obligation to maintain those storage requirement.   Normally, if a pharma, wholesaler, pharmacy allows Rx meds to be outside of the required temp range for > 24 hrs the product is consider adulterated and NO LONGER SALEABLE.

From this article and others that I have read, Amazon appears to be “pushing ” paying cash for Rxs.  If this Amazon pharmacy has a contract with your health insurance and you pay cash… it won’t applied to your deductible and highly possible if you submit your cash receipts to your insurance company they will not reimburse you and apply to your deductible because Amazon pharmacy has a contract to bill the insurance for the pt.

Encouraging pts to PAY CASH the Amazon pharmacy will not have to deal with the BS from insurance companies in getting a Rx claim thru the system and with a charge card .. Amazon will get their money in – at most – a couple of days instead of having to wait 2-3 weeks for the insurance company to pay and then reconcile their payment against what was billed and won’t get docked with those unpredictable DIR fees.

If this Amazon pharmacy functions like most mail order pharmacies, filled Rxs may not reach the pt for up to TWO WEEKS and what does their statement mean that theywill offer commonly prescribed medicationsDoes that mean NO CONTROLLED MEDS ?  The DEA states that it is RED FLAG for a pt to pay cash for a controlled substance if they have insurance.


Amazon opens online pharmacy, shaking up another industry

The company opened an online pharmacy Tuesday, giving Amazon shoppers the chance to buy their medication and order refills on their phones and have it delivered to their doorsteps in a couple of days, just like a book or toilet paper.

The move propels Amazon into a new business, potentially shaking up the pharmacy industry as it has done to everything from book sellers to toy stores and grocers. Big chains like CVS and Walgreens rely on their pharmacies to bring them a steady flow of shoppers who stop by frequently to pick up their medications.

Amazon said it will offer commonly prescribed medications starting Tuesday, including creams, pills, as well as medications that need to stay cold, like insulin.

Shoppers have to set up a profile on Amazon’s website and have doctors send prescriptions to the Seattle-based e-commerce giant.
ONLINE SHOPPING SURGE COULD LEAD TO HOLIDAY DELIVERY DELAYSMost insurance is accepted, Amazon said. But Prime members who don’t have insurance can also buy generic or brand name drugs from Amazon for a discount.Amazon has eyed the health care industry for some time. Two years ago, it spent $750 million to buy online pharmacy PillPack, which organizes medication in packets by what time and day they need to be taken. Amazon said that PillPack will continue, focusing on shipping medication to people with chronic conditions.

5 Responses

  1. When I get to the point that I can not get to my pharmacy, which is a “mom and pop’s” local pharmacy we have used for 30 plus years, then I would “consider” using amazon for my medication needs. I understand that this service may be good for people that are shut in, shut down, disabled with zero family or friends help but, the way things are going we will be purchasing everything from just a few LARGE companies that will have total control of all most all purchases, needs and get to the point of controlling what we can say or think and I can not be part of that. Irrational thinking? Maybe so!

    • Have you considered talking to your pharmacist about syncing up your meds so that they all come due to be refilled on the same day every month or if you get 90 days supplies every 3 months refills. Here is an example of how pts are treated when the “big boys” have ran all the competition out of the local market place CVS: The pharmacy was 1,200 scripts behind and eight days behind in prescription refills. Depending who is swore in as President in Jan… Biden took a lot of money from BIG PHARMAS… so probably the buying Rx meds from anywhere in the world is a dead issue and besides they claim that 10% of Rx meds outside of USA are counterfeit. We have seen over the last few decades as big box stores move into communities and the smaller businesses end up closing their doors… are we seeing a similar situation on a national scale with Amazon being the new “big box” that helps cannibalizes local businesses that survived the BIG BOX invasion of the last couple of decades.

      • Steve: Putting aside Amazon for a moment and putting aside different policies from Dems and Repubs,, what do you mean “depending who is sworn in as president in January”? I am sincerely curious why you said this..

        • I am not an attorney but there seems to be a lot of paths that the Trump campaign to challenge the votes counted… Members of both parties have questioned the reliability of the Dominion Voting Systems for years. I saw a report from a person watching the real time total votes in VIRG and has documentation that between 4 AM and 5 AM the total number of votes cast DROPPED some 130,000 There has been so many anomalies in how Biden ran his campaign. No ground game, no knocking on doors, virtually no rallies, even Obama did not come out until the last couple of weeks to endorse him. States deciding to mail out ballots to every registered voters in their state – using COVID-19 for justification – and some people reporting receiving a handful of ballots at the apartment they currently live to previous tenants – remember it is claimed that 20% of families move every year. Normally a presidential candidate chooses a running mate from a state/region he/she is not strong in or have strengths in some areas… Mickey Mouse could run in CALF as a and would win… and yet Biden chose Harris who dropped out of the primaries BEFORE the first primary votes were cast – she had amassed single digit support. Looking at Biden himself.. he is not the same person – persona and energy level of a few months back… there are medications that can assist in that change – and IMO – if/when he is in office they will take those meds away and ‘our president” will become the absent minded, couch potato that is the real him… they will pull the 25th Amendment on him and to make that valid the VP has to sign off on that… who believes that Harris would hesitate from signing that ? and then the party can boast about getting America to have first black male president and first woman of color as president. all that being said… I personally don’t care for Trump… could I be a friend with Trump – probably not… would I work for a Trump company – probably not … would I buy stock if a Trump company was public stock – probably not… I think that he uses superlatives WAY TOO MUCH… has his actions been good for the people of this country – DAMN RIGHT… just yesterday… at his press conference he announced the implementation of “favorite nation pricing on medication prices”… which has the potential to eviscerating the excessive profits of the insurance/pbm industry & pharma industry… reportedly his administration has been working on this for over 2 yrs and may explain why those industries dumped boat loads of money into Joe Biden’s election campaign. Only the media has claimed the Biden was the winner… or should we wait until the official process is completed and the legal winner is declared ?

    • Not irrational.

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