Amazon has unveiled two new features it says will help people compare prices on medications.
Thanks to the Amazon Prime prescription savings benefit, anyone with Amazon Prime now can search for their medication and compare costs at Amazon Pharmacy and other retail pharmacies that accept the Prime savings card. Amazon says more than 60,000 pharmacies nationwide participate.
Once customers have compared prices, they can either purchase from their local pharmacy or order online from Amazon Pharmacy. Amazon says the Prime prescription savings benefit saves members up to 80% off generic and 40% off brand-name medications when paying without insurance.
Customers who shop from their Amazon pharmacy account also now can check their insurance copay price before they purchase a medication. To use this tool, customers provide insurance and prescriber information after logging in to Amazon Pharmacy. They then request their expected copay from the medication information page.
Amazon says its goal is to help consumers save money and understand prescription medication costs. It notes that one recent national survey found that just 11% of customers who face higher-than-expected medication costs actually shop online for better prices.
Comparing how much a drug would cost if you used your insurance (that is, your copay) and how much it would cost if you did not use your insurance (often called the “cash” price) is especially important because sometimes the latter is cheaper — even for people with insurance. We explain this further in “5 Ways I Slashed My Drug Costs up to 50%.”
Saving money on prescriptions is more important than ever. As we noted in January, many drug prices jumped as the old year rolled over into 2021:
“The GoodRx research team has been tracking 2021 price increases for more than 4,500 brand-name and generic drugs through January and has found that 722 drugs have increased in price by an average of 4.5% so far this month.”
For more on this year’s price hikes, check out “Prepare to Pay More for These 31 Drugs in 2021.”
If you’re looking for more ways to save on your medications, read “4 Pharmacy Chains That Offer Free Prescription Drugs.”