Amazon.com and Walmart Inc. have both jumped into the online pharmacy market and now Costco Wholesale Corp. is taking a different approach, with a focus on helping make prescription drug prices transparent for employers. It has partnered with Navitus Health Solutions LLC, a small pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) which has a different business model than most PBMs. Rather than taking a cut of rebates and discounts, they charge a flat free. Costo recently purchased a minority stake in Navitus in a partnership which should benefit both employers and consumers.
AARP Bulletin had an elder abuse alert for our area. The article profiled a 75-year old man who saw a charge on his credit card that he didn’t recognize for Amazon Prime. He did a google search for Amazon’s phone number and called the number, which turned out to be fake. They asked him to confirm his credit card number, as well as his Social Security number. “Scammers will buy and place fake ads that often elude the filters for the online search engines,” Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser told AARP Bulletin. They also tricked him into buying gift cards. “When people are searching for customer service numbers, they are in a hurry and quickly scan for the first phone number they see,” he said. Scammers are targeting Monterey County, and in particular rich pockets like Carmel-by-the-sea, Pacific Grove and Pebble Beach.
Amazon Pharmacy jumped into the online prescription market in November, entering another highly competitive—but lucrative—space. The digital pharmacy offers free two-day home delivery and AARP Bulletin in their January/February 2021 Issue (page four) gave the service high marks. “We compared benefit prices against other retail options and found that its prices were often—but not always—cheaper,” said the AARP Bulletin article.
Haven, the company backed by Amazon.com, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase surprisingly started informing employees today that it will shut down by the end of next month. Many of the company’s 57 workers will be offered new jobs at one of the three founders of the non-profit. The problem, insiders say, is that rather than working together, the three companies developed their own products on their own.
Amazon.com is moving into the older adult market with a big splash, an extension of Alexa called “Care Hub” while also adding tools for Alexa for Hospitality. The app allows remote connections and monitoring between older adults and their loved one. Care Hub also offers customizable alerts. For instance, alerting a loved one the first time the elderly person uses Alexa each day, as well as giving an alert if the senior is inactive for a certain period of time. It also comes with features like “Alexa, call for help” which will notify a family member immediately. This is great that Amazon.com is building its presence in this growing market after its acquisition of PillPack.