I'm a big fan of Amazon. Almost am ashamed to admit it, given how huge Amazon is and the many tales of how it screws over employees and businesses it doesn't want competing with its brand products.
But there's no doubt that Amazon is amazingly efficient.
I have Amazon Prime. My orders arrive promptly, sometimes the next day, with very few errors. It's just so damn easy to get stuff from Amazon instead of heading into town, a 20 minute drive away, and looking for something that may or may not be on a store shelf. Plus, I get a lot of benefit from reading customer reviews of products I'm contemplating buying.
So I decided to give Amazon Pharmacy a try.
At my last primary care doctor visit I left with a prescription for daily Tadalafil, the 5 mg generic version of Cialis. In addition to its well-known use for erectile dysfunction, Tadalafil is prescribed for treatment of an enlarged prostate, which I have.
I got a paper copy of the prescription because I wasn't sure where I wanted to get it filled. I'd asked the small local pharmacy that my wife and I use to let me know what it would cost for a 90 day supply of Tadalafil. Never got a response to the text I sent, which made me think that the cost would be a lot.
My next step was to go to our nearest Walgreens. I showed the person at the pharmacy window the prescription, and they scanned it into their system. I said that I'd filled some other prescriptions there, so they have my Regence MedAdvantage insurance information.
After some clicking away, the Walgreen's staffer said that my insurance didn't cover Tadalafil. I asked what the cost would be if I paid for it myself. Can't recall the exact amount, but it was about $840 for a 90 day supply.
Wow. For a generic. I said I'd have to think about this and took the prescription back. The cost quoted by a Canada pharmacy was about $140 for a 90 day supply, which shows how crazily expensive drugs can be in the United States.
I then remembered that Amazon had a pharmacy. It was easy to sign up for Amazon Pharmacy given that I was already a regular customer with Amazon Prime. The cost of prescription drugs is easy to find since all you have to do is type it into the usual Amazon search box.
This is what I found for daily Tadalafil, 90 day supply.
I decided to dip my prescription feet in the Amazon waters. I sent a message to my primary care provider asking that an electronic prescription for my Tadalafil be sent to Amazon, using the phone and fax numbers provided by Amazon Pharmacy.
That just took a few days. Amazon Pharmacy then notified me that the prescription had been received. Soon after I got an email saying that, not surprisingly, my insurance wouldn't cover the prescription. I was asked if I wanted to make an order and pay out-of-pocket.
Sure. A few clicks later I'd completed the order and almost immediately got this message from Amazon.
That message came on January 30. The next day, today, January 31, the Tadalafil was delivered to my doorstep. The cost was $29.50 rather than the quoted $26.60, but that's no big deal. The bottle had an expiration date of January 30, 2025 and said that the manufacturer was Solco Healthcare, which appears to be a reputable distributor of generics.
So my first experience with Amazon Pharmacy was very positive. I looked at some reviews of Amazon Pharmacy and many of them were negative. However, quite a few of them were from the early days of Amazon Pharmacy, so I suspect some of those initial problems have been resolved.
My other prescriptions aren't nearly as expensive, which means I'll likely stick with a local pharmacy for them, at least for now. Amazon Pharmacy can sure save people a lot of money on certain prescriptions, though, that's for sure.