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Amazon unveils online pharmacy

Amazon unveils online pharmacy
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Amazon on Tuesday unveiled an online pharmacy allowing customers to have prescriptions and refills delivered to their homes. 

The company said Amazon Pharmacy customers will be able to purchase prescription drugs on its website or its app, compare prices between multiple drug companies and make purchases using insurance co-pays or without insurance.

Customers will be able to fill their prescriptions with the online retail giant by setting up a profile and having doctors send their prescriptions to Amazon. Pills, creams and refrigerated prescriptions such as insulin will all be available, The Associated Press noted.

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Amazon Prime members who do not have insurance will have the option to purchase generic prescription drugs at a discounted price of up to 80 percent off while brand-name drugs will be discounted up to 40 percent, according to the company, which added that two-day shipping will be available.

“We understand the importance of access to affordable medication, and we believe Prime members will find tremendous value with the new Amazon Prime prescription savings benefit,” Vice President of Amazon Prime Jamil Ghani said in a statement. “Our goal is for Prime to make members’ lives easier and more convenient every day, and we’re excited to extend the incredible savings, seamless shopping experience, and fast, free delivery members know and love with Prime to Amazon Pharmacy.”

Amazon Pharmacy is not yet available in Illinois, Minnesota, Louisiana, Kentucky and Hawaii, Reuters noted.

Amazon said the new venture will build upon the online retail giant's relationship with recently acquired PillPack, which will continue to operate separately. 

Competitors like CVS, Walgreens and Rite Aid are already feeling the heat as the retail giant enters pharmaceuticals and have taken on losses in the stock market. Shares for both Walgreens and Rite Aid fell 10 percent while CVS shares fell by nearly 9 percent, according to the AP.