Amazon enters pharmacy business

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Super S
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Amazon enters pharmacy business

Post by Super S »

https://www.supermarketnews.com/health- ... n-pharmacy

I think this is going to have the biggest impact on the major drugstore chains (Walgreens, CVS, and Rite Aid) which are known for high prices. Time will tell.

storewanderer
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Re: Amazon enters pharmacy business

Post by storewanderer »

The issue will be if Amazon Pharmacy gets onto insurance plans. My guess is customers will learn about Amazon Pharmacy and then start asking for it to be on their insurance plans as a preferred provider. Amazon can market to Prime customers this new offering. It may take some time to get off the ground and get onto the insurance plans but ultimately customers will love it. You can see just from the release that Amazon is aiming to make this pharmacy service as easy and customer friendly to use as possible.

Walgreens, CVS, and Rite Aid have provided understaffed pharmacies and a not so great customer experience for a while now. This will be a welcome option for customers and they will abandon Walgreens, CVS, and Rite Aid as fast as they can.

In some larger metros wherever Amazon is doing the centralized filling of the prescriptions they can probably link in with the larger doctor networks and have prescriptions directly transmitted for a fill and a same day delivery. Beats going to CVS or Walgreens sick after a trip to the doctor, waiting in a long line for 20 minutes to drop off, and being told to come back and get your medicine in 3 hours where you will be treated to another 20 minute line for pick up.

It may free up Walgreens, CVS, and Rite Aid to focus more on things like shots and the little clinics in the stores. Those things make more money than filling prescriptions anyway I suppose.

Alpha8472
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Re: Amazon enters pharmacy business

Post by Alpha8472 »

The problem with running a pharmacy is that it is labor intensive. Amazon is not used to staffing telephone call centers to answer customer questions regarding incorrect medications, allergic reactions to drugs, or complaints about incorrect prescriptions. Customers will realize that they no longer have the option of going into a store to get their medications right away if it is an emergency. If you run out of blood pressure medications or crucial blood thinning medication you do not have a pharmacy to go to for an emergency supply.

There is little accountability with mail order pharmacies. If a pharmacist makes a mistake, the customer is not able to call the pharmacy and complain about the pharmacist. Wrong drug, wrong strength of medication, wrong number of pills, etc. There is going to be tremendous amount of prescription fraud with mail order. Customers will call in and complain that their medications were lost in the mail or that their medications were stolen from their front doors. It is going to be mess. Amazon has money. They can probably afford to eat the cost of lost medications, stolen medications, or customers who take advantage of prescription fraud. There will be lawsuits on incorrect medications or wrong drugs given to patients. Amazon has tons of money to settle lawsuits.

All a customer has to do is fax in a fake prescription to Amazon and they have unlimited refills of drugs and medications. There is a lot of prescription fraud with mail order pharmacies. Do you really think that a mail order pharmacy is going to have hundreds of employees to verify every single faxed in prescription or telephoned prescription? Customers will telephone in narcotic drugs and sell them on the street in bulk.

Good luck with getting good customer service. I work in a pharmacy and the number one complaint is doctor's offices failing to give refills. You fax a doctor for refills or call the the doctor's office and the office takes forever to respond. The customers call and complain that they have not gotten their medications refilled. Then you go and contact the doctor again. Most of the time, you have to loan the customer an emergency 3 day supply of medication for free until their doctor responds. If a patient is on blood pressure medication that prevents strokes, and they use a mail order pharmacy the patient could have sky high blood pressure and suffer a stroke without an emergency supply available.

Many of these chain pharmacies will see drastic reductions in traffic. Fewer customers will pick up prescriptions and their in store sales will go down. You could see many more abandoned and closed pharmacies spread all across the country in the future.

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Re: Amazon enters pharmacy business

Post by TW-Upstate NY »

I had a problem just recently with a prescription filled locally at CVS. It was for a 90-day supply and all I had to do was look at the amount of pills in the bottle and realize I got shorted by maybe two thirds. All it took was one simple call to the store and the pharm. tech immediately knew what had happened. She told me to come in and they'd take care of it and they did. As is being echoed on this thread, good luck with Amazon being THAT responsive to a customer concern. Oh, they might take care of the problem for you-when they get around to it that is and on their own terms.

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