Amazon Adds Prescription Drugs To Its Counterfeit And Scam Laden Marketplace
The wisdom of giving consumer health care data to a tech giant and retailer is mind-boggling.
November 21, 2020
November 18, 2020, Los Angeles, CA - Amazon has added another goal in slugging its way to retail dominance; Amazon launched its own online pharmacy to deliver prescription drugs.
Amazon, already laced with fraud and scams, and having fumbled its counterfeit enforcement practices for retail goods, is adding a pharmacy counter to its virtual store.
Amazon acquired startup PillPack in 2018 that presorted medicines and shipped them to customers' homes in 49 states. The acquisition gave Amazon state licenses to operate across the country, overcome barriers for filling prescriptions, and collect vast amounts of consumer medical data. Amazon uses customer data to build advertising of its overall business, and to show customers personalized ads and discounts based on what they have bought in the past.
The wisdom of giving consumer health care data to a tech giant and retailer is mind-boggling. Amazon, already facing allegations of employee bribery, investigations by the US Congress, and formal charges of data manipulation and anti-trust violations in the EU, can access vast amounts of private consumer health care data to support targeted advertising.
Before customers order medication for the first time, the site might ask them questions such as whether they're pregnant, their date of birth and their gender as it was assigned at birth. The information is required by law to provide pharmacy care, and it helps pharmacists to do things like confirm prescriptions. Amazon says it has tools to verify that a physician legitimately ordered each prescription and tamp down on potential fraud. Amazon Prime revenue is in line for a boost from customers seeking free two-day delivery.
According to a CNBC report, Amazon's TJ Parker, vice president of pharmacy, said that the storage and collection of customer health information is in compliance with federal HIPAA rules, and the company won't share pharmacy data with advertisers or marketers without permission.
Roughly 60% of Americans have at least one chronic condition, and four in 10 adults have more than two, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.