I used Amazon's new pharmacy to get my medication. Here's how it works.

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Amazon Pharmacy Here’s what it’s like to use Amazon Pharmacy.

  • Amazon just opened a pharmacy, allowing shoppers to get prescription drugs delivered with no delivery fee.
  • Here’s all the steps I took to get my prescription medication delivered to me through Amazon.
  • I learned the company does not yet offer 90-day fills, nor does it automatically refill prescriptions.
  • Amazon said free delivery would take five days for my script because I am not a Prime member.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Amazon just opened a pharmacy, allowing shoppers to get prescription drugs delivered like they would clothes or home supplies.

Amazon Pharmacy, which launched Tuesday, offers to deliver most generic and name-brand prescription drugs to most US customers with no delivery fee. Doctors can call in prescription orders straight to Amazon, or pharmacies like CVS can transfer them.

Amazon Prime members get special benefits, like discounts up to 80% on generic drugs and 40% on brand-name medications when paying without insurance, as well as two-day delivery. The service is not available in Hawaii, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, or Minnesota.

Read more: Amazon is going deeper into the prescription drug business. Here are the 7 ways the tech giant is taking on healthcare, and why two analysts think doctors visits are next.

I decided to see how the process works first hand by ordering my prescription medicine through Amazon. I am not a Prime member, but the ease of getting my medicine delivered during the pandemic appealed to me.

I quickly signed up for the service, but Amazon said it takes days to get prescriptions transferred from other pharmacies. After I asked my prescriber to transfer my medicine, the company said free delivery would take 5 days.

“Starting right from the Amazon.com store it’s easy to type in a medication name and see availability and any savings for Prime members,” Amazon spokesperson Jacquelyn Miller said. “Before checking out, customers with insurance on file can compare their co-pay, the price without insurance or the available savings with the new Prime prescription savings benefit to choose their lowest price option.”

Here’s all the steps I took to get my medication from Amazon Pharmacy. Amazon was not immediately available for comment. 

I decided to use Amazon’s new pharmacy to get my medication delivered. I recently moved and I spent two months in Michigan this year, meaning I’ve had to change my pharmacy multiple times to get my medication. Amazon appealed to me because I wanted the ability to change my delivery address quickly without using a new pharmacy. Amazon Pharmacy Customers can now purchase prescription medications through Amazon Pharmacy.



First, I checked to see if Amazon would deliver my medication. The website lists a number of items the company does not deliver yet, including medical devices, controlled substances, and vitamins, but it seems to deliver most drugs. Amazon Pharmacy



Next, I checked to see if the medication would get delivered to my apartment in New York City. The website says Amazon does not yet deliver in Hawaii, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, or Minnesota. Amazon Pharmacy



There are two down sides to the Amazon Pharmacy that I noticed right away: The company does not offer 90-day fills, nor does it automatically refill prescriptions. Amazon Pharmacy



Read more: Amazon is going deeper into the prescription drug business. Here are the 7 ways the tech giant is taking on healthcare, and why two analysts think doctors visits are next.
 

After reviewing the website, I went to sign up for an Amazon Pharmacy account. Amazon Pharmacy



The company asked me to create a health profile using my name, address, birthday, and the last four digits of my social security number. I already had my address saved in my Amazon account, which sped up the process. Amazon Pharmacy



I then added my insurance information. I recommend getting your insurance card and pill bottle before starting the process so you won’t have to get up and look for them. Amazon Pharmacy



Read more: Here are the 17 digital health startups that are ripe for a Wall Street debut

I had to disclose the name of my medication, any allergies I had, whether I was pregnant or nursing, and other health conditions. Amazon Pharmacy



The process to sign up for Amazon Pharmacy probably took me a little over 5 minutes total. Amazon Pharmacy



Read more: Google’s secretive healthcare business wants to organize the world’s health information, but insiders describe how turf wars and trust issues are hamstringing the operation

I then had to call in my prescription to Amazon Pharmacy. The company said the fastest way to request a prescription was to call my doctor’s office and inform them of my new pharmacy. Amazon could also request it for you by contacting your current pharmacy. Amazon Pharmacy



My dermatologist’s office was not immediately available, so I opted to use Amazon’s service. The company said it could take up to six days to order my medication. Amazon Pharmacy



I didn’t feel like waiting that long, so I decided to wait for my dermatologist to get back to me. The office was busy, but I got a virtual appointment with her and she sent my prescription to Amazon within two days. Amazon Pharmacy



During checkout, I added my address and selected my payment information (even though I had $0 copay with insurance). You can also add an FSA or HSA card as a payment method. Amazon Pharmacy



I don’t have Amazon Prime, so the checkout website said I would have to wait nine days to get my medication to qualify for free shipping. Amazon’s website said non-Prime members qualify for “free 4-5 day delivery,” but the checkout window told me otherwise. Prime members can get free two-day delivery. Amazon Pharmacy



Read more: Amazon just put the entire healthcare industry on notice with its latest push into pharmacy. Here’s who stands to win and lose.
 

I was all set, and got my prescription ordered without paying a delivery fee. Shortly after I purchased the prescription, Amazon texted me saying my medication would arrive in five days. Luckily I have enough pills to last me that long, but I would be hesitant to select this service if I needed my medication right away. Amazon Pharmacy



After completing the process, I’m happy I don’t have to leave my house to get my prescription, but the delivery time is an issue. Still, I was disappointed by how slowly Amazon Pharmacy worked, both to request prescriptions and ship them out. I’m planning to order my next refill in advance to ensure I get the medication I need on time. If the delivery continues to take this long, I will probably send my prescription back to my local pharmacy. FILE PHOTO: An Amazon worker delivers packages amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Denver, Colorado, U.S., April 22, 2020. Picture taken April 22, 2020. REUTERS/Kevin Mohatt/File Photo FILE PHOTO: An Amazon worker delivers packages



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