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Hot on the heels of shutting down the AmazonSmile charity platform, a new add-on to Amazon Prime has been revealed. It aims to fill prescriptions for generic medications for one low monthly price.

Amazon already runs a pharmacy through its online store, bolstered by the purchase of PillPack in 2018, but now the company is going a step further. Instead of buying each drug individually, Amazon is launching an optional subscription called RxPass, priced at $5 per month in the United States. No health insurance is required, but most (if not all) of the medications are controlled substances that require a prescription from a doctor.

RxPass doesn’t cover every drug Amazon sells, but it does provide access to “commonly prescribed generic medications that treat more than 80 common health conditions.” There’s a full list on the RxPass website, which includes anti-inflammatory drugs like Piroxicam and Naproxen, nine medications for high blood pressure and cardiac dysrhythmias, and even some drugs for treating Parkinson’s disease.

The new subscription could potentially save some people a lot of money, but there is a darker side to RxPass. CNN reports the subscription is almost certainly a loss leader for Amazon, meaning it’s intended to maintain subscriptions to Amazon Prime rather than be self-sustaining. You’re probably going to be less likely to cancel Amazon Prime on the next price hike if it’s responsible for your access to critical medication, and Amazon’s FAQ page says cancelling Prime will also cancel RxPass.

RxPass is available starting today in 42 US states.

Source: Amazon, CNN

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Corbin Davenport is the News Editor at How-To Geek, an independent software developer, and a podcaster. He previously worked at Android Police, PC Gamer, and XDA Developers.
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