Amazon Parmacy

Do you know Amazon Pharmacy?

  • Jeff Bezos’ company has fully operational its project to sell medicines in a regulated manner.
  • The service, which is currently only active in the United States, would need a change of format in Spain to be able to operate due to current legislation.


After becoming the largest marketplace in the world, monopolizing more than 60% of searches related to purchases on the entire internet, entering the audiovisual market through the front door and, ultimately, changing the world, Amazon has also dared to take on medicines.

Amazon Pharmacy allows the end user to compare and buy the medications they need without having to leave home. But what does this service consist of and how can it be extended outside the United States?

How Amazon Pharmacy Works


The operation of this service is, at least in the United States, as follows:

  • Users register by entering personal data about themselves, such as age, height, weight, medical history, chronic conditions, etc.
  • Health insurance details are entered, those who have one, as it will be essential to be able to meet the cost of certain medications.
  • Prime users, as in the rest of the platform, will be able to enjoy benefits such as the arrival of orders in less time or a reduction of up to 80% in prices for those who do not have health insurance.

In addition, Amazon ensures that a team of pharmacists is in charge of verifying prescriptions at all times in order to avoid potential problems. Likewise, they will be available 24 hours a day, every day of the week, to answer queries and doubts that users may have.

As expected, those medicines that require a prescription to be dispensed cannot be purchased without one. Here’s how it works: you search for the medication you need, transfer the prescription issued by a professional, an Amazon pharmacist validates it, and you receive your medications a few days later at your doorstep. No queues, no waiting and being able to get a supply of up to 6 months.


Is this model possible in Spain?


In Spain, currently, this business model proposed by the e-commerce giant is not possible. Here, the Law on Guarantees and Rational Use of Medicines and Medical Devices “prohibits the sale, by mail order and by telematic procedures, of medicines and medical devices subject to prescription”.

What about over-the-counter medications? Neither. To date, Royal Decree 870/2013 on the online sale of medicines establishes that “they may only carry out the distance sale of medicines […] through websites, those pharmacies open to the public, legally authorized, that have made the notification of this activity”. In addition, this process “must be carried out with the intervention of a pharmacist, from his pharmacy office”. Finally, these websites will be periodically monitored by the health authorities.

For this reason, it is still unthinkable that this service will land in our country, but what could be viable is the sale of parapharmacy and OTC products, that is, those that do not need medical authorization to be consumed.