Amazon enhances prescription services with generative AI

Amazon Pharmacy generative AI sorting
Amazon Pharmacy is applying generative AI throughout the prescription process.

Amazon is utilizing next-generation artificial intelligence (AI) to increase the speed, accuracy and transparency of its digital pharmacy business.

The e-tailer’s Amazon Pharmacy full-service digital pharmacy division is using generative AI, including multiple, pre-trained models from the Amazon Bedrock and Amazon SageMaker proprietary platforms, in an effort to fill prescriptions more quickly and accurately, make customer service faster and more helpful, and ensure the right quantities of medications are stocked for customers. 

Amazon Pharmacy is also working on AI applications that provide more transparent pricing on prescription medications.

“Today, Amazon is using generative AI to make the pharmacy experience even better for our clinical teams and customers,” said Alexandre Alves, senior principal engineer at Amazon Pharmacy, in a corporate blog post. “We saw an opportunity to rethink information flows that was both exciting and transformational.”

In the past year, Amazon Pharmacy has doubled the number of customers it serves, and is trying to efficiently scale with generative AI capabilities provided by Amazon Web Services (AWS)-based solutions in the following areas:

Prescription processing speed

Amazon is facing challenges caused  by confusing or inconsistent language in digital scripts by running the original “unstructured” data through a generative AI model. That model uses a process called “named entity recognition” to create a structure for the text, using categories such as “dose” and “frequency.” From there, it helps Amazon Pharmacy clinical staff fill prescriptions and provide clear instructions for patients.

Every prescription is still reviewed by a pharmacist because provider guidance can be incorrect for reasons that AI cannot detect. By combining a generative AI approach with the expertise of a human pharmacist, Amazon says it is able to increase order processing speed by 90% and reduce the rate of human error.

Stocking accuracy

Amazon Pharmacy also uses AI and machine learning (ML) to forecast demand. That helps Amazon stock the right medications in each location, ready to be dispensed when a prescription comes in.

Pricing transparency

Amazon Pharmacy is utilizing ML and generative AI with Large Language Models (LLMs) to offer real-time insurance estimates on prescription medications, without the customer needing to enter their insurance details. Customers can shop for the best price on medications by viewing a list of pricing options on the Amazon Pharmacy site.

LLM is a type of ML model specifically trained on large amounts of data that can recognize, summarize, translate, predict and generate text and other content, to build more comprehensive product descriptions.

Customer support
Leveraging generative AI, the Amazon Pharmacy clinical and customer care team can review internal documentation pages and knowledge bases and then summarize them for customers. Amazon also provides guardrails that apply context to each question.


By improving its ability to ingest data and interpret context, Amazon says generative AI can help improve delivery predictions and batching decisions, and help customers get their prescriptions more quickly.

“We are constantly discovering new uses for generative AI,” said Alves. “We’re excited about the potential to not only further improve the customer experience with Amazon Pharmacy, but also to significantly enhance the roles of our pharmacy staff, helping to create better health care outcomes.”

Amazon grows as health care services provider

Amazon has been trying to make inroads into the health care market for the past several years, starting with its acquisition of PillPack in 2018 and the launch of its own online pharmacy in 2020. In 2022, it reversed course on its Amazon Care virtual health care program for employees, shutting down the program.

In addition, the company has made Amazon Clinic available to customers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Launched in November 2022 and previously only available in 32 states, the solution provides virtual care from licensed clinicians for more than 30 common health concerns.  

And in November 2023, Amazon began offering Prime members unlimited access to 24/7 on-demand virtual care from One Medical, the membership-based primary health care provider it acquired for $3.9 billion in February 2023.

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