Amazon Pharmacy Offers Discounts on Insulin

Amazon Pharmacy

The high cost of insulin has been a sore point for consumers and politicians alike.

To help manage this issue, Amazon Pharmacy debuted automatic, manufacturer-sponsored coupons to help patients save on insulin and other diabetes care products, according to a Tuesday (Aug. 15) company blog post.

“Customers can save time and money on the most commonly prescribed products … like insulin vials, pens, continuous glucose monitors and pumps,” per the post. “With automatically-applied, manufacturer-sponsored coupons, many insulin brands are available to eligible customers starting at $35 a month.”

That number was the same cap drugmaker Eli Lilly placed on insulin earlier this year as it announced it would cut the price of the life-saving medication by 70%.

The move followed years of public outcry over the high cost of insulin, which has been dubbed the “silent killer” due to the fatal consequences of rationing the drug. Some observers said the company’s decision was a direct response to public pressure over the high cost of insulin.

Amazon — which said earlier this month it doubled its active pharmacy customers — laid off around 80 employees from that side of the business last month, following the company’s largest round of job cuts in its history.

“Like many businesses, we are always improving our processes, for both quality and efficiency, and identifying how we can deliver on the best customer experience,” Amazon spokesperson Brad Glasser told PYMNTS in an emailed statement in July. “As a result, we have made the decision to adjust resources, and a small number of roles have been eliminated on the Amazon Pharmacy Services team.”

Amazon has made several entries into the healthcare market, acquiring One Medical for $3.9 billion earlier this year, and launching a service called RxPass, which offers patients who use the Amazon Pharmacy access to generic medications for $5 a month, delivered to their homes at no cost.

But while Amazon has made significant strides in the pharmacy space, it has also made some missteps. The company debuted a healthcare-specific venture called Haven in early 2018 with J.P. Morgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway but closed it down in January 2021. The company’s Amazon Care unit launched in 2019 and folded last year.