Amazon is testing a subscription for delivering prescription drugs to homes in the United States. For five dollars a month, the retail giant will deliver people their regular medication… But what does the “Everything Store” itself have to gain from this?
150 million Americans
With RxPass, Prime members who take multiple medications can save time and money, the e-commerce giant claims. The subscription costs a flat five dollars a month, for which patients can then choose which prescription drugs they want delivered to their homes.
RxPass offers some fifty generic variants (the off-brand product) of medication for over eighty common conditions. The offer ranges from medication for reflux over antidepressants to the generic form of Viagra. More than 150 million Americans use one or more of the medications available through the monthly RxPass subscription, Amazon says.
Through Amazon Pharmacy, patients can also contact pharmacists or other staff for questions. Doctors can confer directly with Amazon as well. This in itself is not new, as Amazon has already been selling most of the medicines through its pharmacy.
To the most intimate level
The move is part of Amazon’s growing interest in the healthcare industry, as it already aims to take over medical care provider One Medical (primary care posts and laboratories) in the US. It fits into the strategy of the major technology giants to penetrate every aspect of consumers’ lives – even in such an intimate domain as healthcare.
By now also delivering (sometimes vital) medication, people are becoming dependent on the retail mogul on an unprecedented scale. Moreover, it provides invaluable data: Amazon already knows everything about its customers’ lifestyle and consumption behaviour, now it also knows about their health. Imagine getting your insurance there later, when the company already knows exactly that you order both cholesterol reducers and two bags of crisps every week.
Amazon truly wants to become an all-encompassing ecosystem, catering to every need. The company already explicitly presents itself this way: when announcing RxPass, the e-commerce giant stressed that drug deliveries are a supplement to all other services, from “unlimited streaming” over “super-fast grocery delivery” to “unlimited photo storage”. Whatever the tech giant deduces from your holiday snaps, we can only guess.
Read all about the “life string” strategy of retail giants like Amazon in the book The Future of Shopping, nominated as Marketing Book of the Year.