Cleveland Clinic pharmacy leader doubts Amazon's RxPass as disruptor

Cleveland Clinic's Jeff Rosner doubts RxPass, Amazon Pharmacy's new $5 prescription subscription service, will make waves.

"This prescription service joins other programs that provide heavy discounts on certain generic medications. While it is a new offering, it is unlikely to be particularly disruptive," Mr. Rosner,  executive director of pharmacy sourcing and supply chain analytics, said in a statement. "This is because other large chain pharmacies are already significantly discounting these drugs — many times to less than $5 or potentially even free."

Similar programs may take a minor loss from discounts but profit from customers adding more prescriptions and annual membership fees, he said.

The service offers a $5 flat fee for prescription generics for more than 80 common health conditions. It is limited to Amazon Prime members and cannot be used by Medicare and Medicaid recipients. 

Here are two other reactions to the RxPass:

  • "It's good to see companies like Amazon put forward projects like RxPass to further add competition in this space and make getting generic medications more convenient, affordable and with price transparency," Alok Patel, MD, a physician at Palo Alto, Calif.-based Stanford Children's Health, told ABC News.

  • Evercore analyst Elizabeth Anderson called it an "incremental pharmacy experiment," according to CNN.

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