Amazon launches $5-a-month unlimited prescriptions for Prime members

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The average American spends about $1,300 a year on prescription medicines. The good news is that generic prescriptions can help your family to save a good deal of money, anywhere from 20% to 80%. In the last 10 years, generic and biosimilar medications have saved patients, employers and taxpayers over $2.6 trillion.

Now, Amazon has announced a new add-on for Prime members that will let them get unlimited generic prescriptions delivered for $5 a month. The retail giant’s RxPass has a prescription list that includes more than 50 common medications for allergies, high blood pressure, allergies, depression and other conditions. The service became available to Prime members in most states on Jan. 24.

John Love, vice president of Amazon Pharmacy, told Fierce Healthcare that RxPass will save the average consumer about $100 a year when compared to paying with cash or your insurance copay at your usual pharmacy.

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“We think this is going to be super valuable for Americans who have a chronic condition or those who might be taking two to three medications,” he said. “With this specific offering, any eligible medications would all be for the single low flat fee of $5, and it’ll be delivered to their door.”

There are a few caveats. While 42 states currently permit the use of RxPass, states including California, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Texas and Washington currently restrict Amazon’s RXPass and similar programs — but you can still use Amazon’s Pharmacy services.

With Amazon Pharmacy, you can use your Prime account to get up to 80% off generic and 40% off brand-name medications. Pharmacies like CVS, Walgreens, Costco, Meijer and Duane Reade accept Prime Rx savings. Click here to find a participating pharmacy near you.

RxPass is also not available to people who currently have Medicare or Medicaid, or other government benefits.

If you sign up for the RxPass mid-month or near the end of the month, your monthly payment will be prorated so you don’t have to worry about signing up exactly on the first of the month to get the most for your money.

By Bridget Sharkey, for Scripps News

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