Health plans

Amazon Pharmacy partners with health plans for discounted drugs

Amazon Pharmacy is offering a prescription drug discount card to Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance customers in five states, Nworah Ayogu, Chief Medical Officer of Amazon Pharmacy, said in an interview at a health technology conference this week.

So far, the program includes partnerships with Blue Plans in New Jersey, Nebraska, Alabama, Florida and Kansas.

The partnership allows plan customers to get discounts through a MedsYourWay card when they use Amazon Pharmacy to buy their drugs — and the cost of those drugs still counts toward their insurance deductibles. Generally, people with a prescription discount card have to choose between buying a medicine out of pocket with the discount but without the cost being charged against their deductible or buying a medicine through their insurance but without the reduction. This program avoids this choice.

“They can be free to choose which is cheaper and not have to worry about what applies to their maximum disbursement or deductible, because both apply,” Ayogu noted at the conference.

MedsYourWay is offered by pharmacy benefit manager Prime Therapeutics, which is belonging to more than a dozen Blue Cross Blue Shield health plans. Prime Therapeutics has started offering home delivery to select customers through Amazon Pharmacy in fall 2021.

Customers can only use the MedsYourWay Card at the Amazon Pharmacy. Most prescription discount cards work in a network of pharmacies.

Amazon launched Amazon Pharmacy in 2020, two years after acquiring drug delivery startup PillPack. The company continues to expand into healthcare: it has a now nationwide telehealth program called Amazon Care, a fitness group, and has integrated Alexa into healthcare facilities.