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Amazon launches prescription drug service as Prime add-on perk

But Texas and two other heavily-populated states are being left out of the initial $5-a-month service.

Amazon.com Inc. has started a $5-per-month drug subscription service for Prime members, the e-commerce giant’s latest foray into health care.

Called RxPass, the service lets patients order generic medications that treat more than 80 common health conditions, the company said in a statement Tuesday. Customers need to be members of Amazon’s $139-a-year Prime service to join and will be entitled to free delivery.

RxPass is available in most U.S. states but for now excludes a number of heavily populated ones, including California, Pennsylvania and Texas. The program’s web page lists a menu of 53 available medications.

“We are excited to offer our customers surprisingly simple, low pricing on the eligible medications they need each month,” said John Love, vice president of Amazon Pharmacy.

Amazon for years has been trying to break into the health care industry. It purchased mail-order pharmacy PillPack Inc. in 2018 and joined a much ballyhooed health care venture with JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Berkshire Hathaway Inc. that fizzled out after three years.

The company also developed a telehealth and home health service, called Amazon Care, that wound down after operating for a little more than a year. Amazon is now trying to purchase the parent of the One Medical line of medical clinics for $3.49 billion.

Matt Day, Bloomberg

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