(Pocket-lint) - Amazon is launching its assault on the pharmaceutical healthcare industry, with the introduction of Amazon Pharmacy. It's a new service where you can get home deliveries of prescription medication.

Here's everything you need to know.

What is Amazon Pharmacy?

Amazon Pharmacy is a prescription drug delivery service available through Amazon. When you sign up for Amazon Pharmacy, you will be given the option to create a ”secure pharmacy profile", which includes adding information about health insurance, medical issues and allergies, and regular prescriptions. Amazon said it accepts “most” insurance plans, and it will give customers the option of connecting with a pharmacist for advice.

Amazon is pitching Amazon Pharmacy as a “distinct service" that will help customers manage their "multiple daily medications for chronic conditions". Keep in mind, in 2018, Amazon bought pharmaceutical delivery startup PillPack for roughly $1 billion. It's rebranded the service to Amazon Pharmacy, and CNBC said PillPack’s infrastructure, fulfillment centers, and healthcare provider partners are being used to power Amazon Pharmacy.

Do Prime members get perks?

Yes. Prime members will get perks over regular customers, including two-day free delivery on orders and discounts on medication. Amazon said Prime members can also save “up to 80 per cent off generic and 40 per cent off brand name medications when paying without insurance”. Prime members will even be able to save on drugs bought in person at over 50,000 pharmacies across the US. Partners include Rite Aid, CVS, Walmart, and Walgreens.

Which drugs does Amazon Pharmacy carry?

The service will offer deliveries for a range of “generic and brand-name drugs", according to CNBC, such as commonly prescribed drugs like insulin, triamcinolone steroid creams, metformin for blood sugar, and sumatriptan for migraine. It will not sell Schedule II drugs, including opioids like Oxycontin.

How do you sign up for Amazon Pharmacy?

It's easy. Follow these steps:

  1. Go to the Amazon Pharmacy website.
  2. Select your state of residence. 
  3. On the next splash page, hit Continue. 
  4. Amazon will then ask you who is using Amazon Pharmacy.
    • Select Adult or Minor.
  5. You will then be guided through linking an Amazon account.
    • You will have the option to set up a four-digit pin.
  6. Create your Amazon Pharmacy profile. You will be asked for the following:
    • Name and address
    • Date of birth
    • Sex at birth
    • Last 4 digits of SSN
    • Email
  7. Enter your medications and health history. Amazon will ask about:
    • Insurance information
    • Medications and vitamins
    • Allergies
    • Health conditions
  8. You are now signed up and can request a prescription or place an order.

How do you request a drug?

The easiest way is to enter your prescriptions or desired medications upon sign up. However, if later you need a new medication, simply search it on Amazon US with the Amazon Pharmacy drop-down selected (example here). You can then select the drug, view its info and pricing, and request a prescription.

You can manage your Amazon Pharmacy account, orders, requests, and track deliveries all through Amazon’s dashboard or the Amazon mobile apps.

Where is Amazon Pharmacy available?

Amazon Pharmacy will be available in 45 states from the end of 2020, according to CNBC. Those include New York, California, Texas, Florida, and more. States currently not covered include Hawaii, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, and Minnesota. But Amazon plans to include them in the future. 

Want to know more?

Check out Amazon's support hub for Amazon Pharmacy for more details. You can also contact Amazon Pharmacy here for help.

Writing by Maggie Tillman.