PillPack Review - Is This Online Pharmacy Worth It?

By Anthony Dugarte, M.D., C.S.C.S
Updated on: Mar 25, 2020

What is PillPack?

PillPack from Amazon is an online pharmacy that works with your doctors to coordinate the delivery of your prescription medications straight to your door.

Nearly half of our population uses prescription medications. Filling your prescription often includes multiple phone calls, missed school or work, doctor appointments, and trips to the pharmacy.

Can you imagine a world where you can avoid much of the extra work getting your medications often entails? PillPack can.

Their methods are pretty straight-forward:

  1. They coordinate with your doctors and insurance providers to obtain your prescriptions.
  2. For your convenience, they organize your pills by the date and time you must take them.
  3. Lastly, they deliver your pills to your door.

The idea is that PillPack does the heavy lifting so you can get back to your life.

In this article, we’ll review how to sign up, the services, and the cost to help you determine if PillPack is what you need to manage your prescription medications.

Getting Started With PillPack

PillPack seems to make signing-up simple.

Getting started is accomplished in a few easy steps - here’s what you’ll need:

  1. Your medication list
  2. Your doctors’ contact information
  3. Your insurance provider contact information
  4. Your payment method

That’s really it. Pretty painless, right? After you provide this info, simply sit back and relax while PillPack gets to work.

In the first 2-weeks after you sign-up, PillPack works as the facilitator between your doctors and an insurance company. Once these details are ironed out, they schedule your first shipment.

PillPack’s Services

While PillPack’s methods are relatively easy to understand, there’s actually much more going on behind the scenes.

Here, you can read about the steps PillPack takes to ensure your satisfaction.

Packaging

Whereas traditional pharmacies were designed to dispense single medications, nearly a quarter of those taking prescription drugs use 3 or more.

For those that fall into this category, managing their medications can be challenging and potentially dangerous.

PillPack limits your risk by delivering your medications organized by the day and time you are directed to take them. A pharmacist checks every single packet for accuracy and reviews your medication list to ensure there are no dangerous drug interactions.

In addition to your prescription medications, dietary supplements, and over the counter medications are also available through PillPack.

Delivery

PillPack coordinates shipping based on your prescriptions and doctors’ instructions. Though you may have 90-day refills, your medications are filled on a 30-day cycle.

Refills are automated and will arrive before you run out.

Support

PillPack support is available, both day and night, through various means of communication. You can call 855-745-5725, email hello@pillpack.co, or reach out through the app.

Also, there is always a 2-way line of communication with PillPack. Each month, they send you a detailed list of your prescriptions that includes images of each pill and dosing instructions.

What Do These Services Cost?

So far, it may seem like all this is too good to be true. As we haven't discussed the cost yet, the catch must be pricey shipping charges or hidden fees, right?

According to PillPack’s website, there is no catch. Both their services and shipping costs are always free. Also, they work with most insurance plans - call support to check your coverage.

Thus, your responsibilities include only insurance copays and any out-of-pocket expenses that your insurance doesn’t cover.

If you opt to include any vitamins or over the counter medications with your prescriptions, simply pay market prices - no up-charges or convenience fees.

Payment options are flexible; you can edit account information from any device at your convenience.

You can choose to use a debit or credit card, pay directly from a bank account, or cover the cost with a health savings account.

PillPack also allows you to select a billing date or simply pay when your medications are delivered.

Are There Any Alternatives?

While online pharmacies do seem to be a relatively new phenomenon, PillPack does have a few competitors.

Some well-known retailers are cashing-in on this model by adding delivery options to their pharmacy services.

CVS is one example. You now have the option to log in online or through their mobile app to manage prescriptions, schedule delivery, and also add any other items available from their store to your order.

Most locations offer 1-2 day delivery, though some accommodate same day service as well. They limit delivery to medications that are not considered controlled substances and those that do not require refrigeration.

While delivery charges can vary by location, your insurance may cover these fees.

CVS may not be able to ship some medications, and you are likely to incur shipping costs, but being able to add other necessities available in their stores is convenient.

The Bottom Line

While PillPack seems to offer a great deal of convenience, users do not seem to find value in their services.

At HighYA, 81 users rated PillPack 2 out of 5-stars on average. Over 65% of users assigned a 1-star rating.

These negative reviews seem to revolve around poor customer services, misinformation provided to doctors, mistakes made in prescription packaging, and delivery issues.

It is challenging to recommend this company when users seem to consistently report issues with the pillars of PillPack’s services.

While the upside is the convenience PillPack claims to offer, the downside appears to be more hassle than it takes to fill prescriptions in the first place.

If you’re looking for a delivery service, going with an established company like CVS may be a better option until it is clear that PillPack has made a concerted effort to address the complaints of its users.


Read 83 PillPack Customer Reviews and Complaints

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Average Customer Rating: 2.0
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 14 4 star: 3 3 star: 3 2 star: 8 1 star:  55
Bottom Line: 23% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 83
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  • Awful service, don’t be fooled

    • By Tammy Jones,
    • Lexington, SC,
    • May 21, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I changed my pharmacy to PillPack over a year ago. At first, they were great. But then things started going downhill. They would send my meds with a handwritten note in the box saying certain meds were not included in the shipment because they needed a refill and couldn’t get in touch with my doctor. They didn’t email or call me beforehand saying they needed my intervention to get the prescription refilled either.

    Then, after several emails complaining, they did start calling me. However, it was an every month occurrence of them calling me to call and get the refill. My doctor office said they get calls all the time from pharmacies but has never received a call or fax from PillPack asking for a refill. I also kept sending messages via their smartphone app with questions or issues, but would never get a response back. When I first came on board with them, they would answer me within minutes no matter what time of day or night it was. Then I find out months later that their app doesn’t work anymore, but no one sent an email letting anyone know!

    I switched to Simple Meds and love them so far. Oh, and they got in touch with my doctors on the first try.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • Terrible, incompetent, and unethical

    This service is painful to manage. Trust me, go to your local pharmacy, sort meds yourself, and save yourself a ton of time and hassle dealings with the idiots at PillPack.

    Three weeks of calls to their customer service line (approximately 20 calls) and not a single issue resolved satisfactorily. In fact, each call seemed to come with its own issue. They never reply to emails with anything other than automated responses, and never make follow up calls regarding issues you raise with them via phone.

    I had unauthorized shipments, was overcharged, they called the wrong physician multiple times, it took me three calls to get a simple Rx transferred from CVS, was not consulted about anything (start date, calling doctors, sending supplemental shipments, etc., etc.), and I still never receive a single PillPack from them! No communication at all. They took it upon themselves to make decisions that I never authorized them to make. It's unethical. Terrible service. Stay away!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • The. Worst. Pharmacy. Ever.

    • By Rob,
    • Connecticut,
    • Dec 20, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    I’ve lost track of the number of times these clowns have failed to get refills or notify me of a problem with a refill. They routinely ship packages that do not have full and complete medications.

    Their “customer service” is entirely made up of “we’re sorry,” and “that shouldn’t happen.” Nothing but words, no improvement after multiple issues.

    Worst. Pharmacy. Ever.

    Avoid.

    I have switched to CVS who offers a similar service.

    P.S. I am certain that someone from PillPack will post the usual “we’re sorry” and “this is not the service that we mean to deliver.” Don't be fooled. Like others here, I have been told that the doctors don’t return calls and faxes. Like others, I have spoken with close to a dozen “supervisors” and “managers.” It’s all a shell game and a joke. Nothing ever gets better. They are NOT sorry, and this IS the level of service you should expect. Don’t be fooled. Take these 1-star ratings to heart.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • Won't give price quotes; rude on phone

    • By D. H.,
    • Baltimore, MD,
    • Jun 25, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    I called on behalf of my elderly mother to try to get price quotes and find out if they could provide her with two meds that come from a specialty pharmacy. They refused to give price quotes, kept saying copays would stay the same, and couldn't understand that under her insurance she pays a percentage, not a flat price copay. It got to the point where every time I started to speak the man interrupted me. It is quite obvious that they train their employees to avoid giving out prices. I figure if it's this difficult to deal with them on what should be simple inquiries, I don't want to have to deal with them on anything else.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • Do not use, or run the risk of not receiving your meds!

    • By Melissa,
    • Long Island, NY,
    • Mar 12, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    PillPack is Horrible!

    I used to be good, but every time I have a medication change, it's like I have to go through hoops to make sure it gets done. The hold times are terrible. And finally, I canceled my account but they are holding my scripts hostage! I am on life-saving meds, which are due to run out, therefore I will now have to waste money and go see my doctor since the PillPack will not do the right thing.

    I am so disappointed. They also tried to charge my card the cash price for a medication since they did not get the prior authorization!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • Amazon acquires train wreck.

    • By Lisa H.,
    • Kernersville, NC,
    • Sep 4, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    So, Amazon wants to get into the healthcare business. They believe they can disrupt the market. Good luck Amazon. Your acquisition is going to require a complete overhaul if you are going to make a dent in the PBM arena. This is more than slapping a shipping label on a Sham Wow. These are people's lives you have in your hands and should not be taken lightly.

    Good concept of pre-packing pills into day/evening dose packs. The packaging material either opens inadvertently when trying to tear off at perforation spilling your pills everywhere or you cannot get into the pack without the use of teeth or scissors. There is no in-between. The dispensing box does not keep the pills dispensing, you have to constantly open up and dig in to pull the strip of pills out.

    There is a disconnect with customer service. They don't get it. I don't think they have any pharmacy customer service training. They cannot pronounce medications; they seem clueless as to policies and procedures (shipping, ordering, delivery). Don't count on them to discover a drug, drug interaction or contraindications. Hopefully, they have board certified pharmacists that will catch those.

    The shipping time and delivery exceed national average...weeks, not days. It is sad when you can get a replacement iPhone in less than 24 hours, but your medications will take weeks to reach you. You will also spend an exorbitant time on the phone trying to set up and order your medications. Their website is not intuitive or user-friendly either. Now...rush shipment. Let's say you have a PRN (as needed) medication that you use for migraines, if you want that delivered, you can get a rush order. I went online and ordered a rush order...a rush order was two weeks. Again, from what planet is this medication being shipped from?

    Now, canceling and getting your prescriptions moved back to a real pharmacy. Good luck with that. You can call. They will tell you they will do it. They won't. Trust me. Call the pharmacy that you want your prescriptions transferred to and have them contact PillPack. It is the only way that you will get them transferred. Better yet, don't use PillPack in the first place and you won't have to worry about it.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • Just DON'T!

    • By Stephanie O.,
    • Mountain View, CA,
    • Oct 1, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    As a senior with a limited income and a lack of youthful dexterity, I thought PillPack was the answer to my prayers. They were not.

    1) I was told the copays would be identical to my local pharmacy. I explained that my insurance had a two-tier copay plan (preferred and non-preferred). They said they worked with my preferred pharmacy and the copays would be the same. They were not.

    2) I explained that I have trouble opening pill bottles, even those without safety caps. They sent one of my prescriptions in a pill bottle.

    3) They said they could transfer my medications from my preferred pharmacy so that I would receive all my medications in easy open packets labeled with the time of day each packet was to be taken. They only filled three of my 12 prescriptions. Only two were in a packet - see #2.

    4) They miss-filled the prescription that they sent in a bottle. The bottle read "Take one pill three times a day." For a 30-day supply, they sent only 30 pills. When I contacted them, I got apologies, but they would not transfer the prescription back to my pharmacy so that I could pick them up locally.

    3) I ended up going to the Emergency Room, as it was Sunday, and I needed the pills immediately to avoid withdrawal symptoms (common with SSRI’s and benzodiazepines). They could only give me one pill.

    4) I then found out that my pharmacy could not have filled the remainder of the prescription, as PillPack informed my insurance company that they had filled a 30-day supply. My pharmacy could not have filled a newly written prescription, as I was only ten days into my supposed 30-day supply.

    5) My doctor could not, by law, write a new prescription without an office visit. I made an appointment; my doctor wrote a new prescription on Monday. I had to pay the full cash price, as PillPack incorrectly told my insurance company that they had given me a 30-day supply.

    PillPack has refused to even entertain the idea of reimbursing me for any of my costs. I have since contacted a medical malpractice lawyer to try to recover some of the money I had to spend due to PillPack’s admitted error. I also have a call into the Pharmacy Board in New Hampshire and am awaiting their response.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • Horrible experience

    • By Daniel D.,
    • New York, NY,
    • Jun 14, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    Huge frustration with their constant errors that resulted in my not having medications when needed. And just an overall terrible experience with their lack of diligence, an app/website that does not reflect current information for accounts (missing medicines, wrong shipment information, etc), and despite the promises of a more seamless experience, I find it much easier to deal with my local pharmacy than to deal with these chuckleheads. Too bad, because there is a lot of promise to the concept. Unfortunately, the execution is just atrocious.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • Beware before you try!

    I tried them out, and they screwed up everything the first month. They promised it would not happen again, but they did again the second month. Then halfway through the third, they tell me they don't take my insurance anymore and I can pay cash for them and they will gladly continue serving me!

    This was a horrible inconvenience. I would not recommend them to anyone! The biggest waste of time and energy switching everything to them, then getting treated like crap, only to just have to switch back!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • Bad people

    • By Johnny B.,
    • Columbus, IN,
    • Sep 22, 2018
    • Verified Reviewer

    Where to start...

    They start out by scamming you to join by saying they are calling from your doctor's office. That's how they pull you in. My very own doctor told me that I'm not her only patient they did that to. They told me they would get my scripts altogether and get them sent to me in the mail. At that time I was told to go about getting my scripts like normal through Walgreens. I went to fill my antidepressants and they could not fill them.

    Long story short of it, about 7 to 10 days later I found myself in the Emergency Room. Shaking, sweating, dehydrated, crying from severe depression. To get them to release my scripts back to Walgreens, I had to call my state reps office. If you like taking chances of doing without important medications then give PillPack a chance. I would suggest stay away from these people.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • Horrible service

    • By Katie Scott,
    • Apple Valley, CA,
    • Nov 22, 2017
    • Verified Reviewer

    I have issues with this pharmacy almost every single month. When I was on chemotherapy, they told me 4 separate times that my medication would arrive on time and it never did. I had to go without my medication for a week and fight just to get my medication. Then when I stopped taking the chemotherapy, they wouldn’t stop shipping my medication after asking them multiple times.

    They’re always shipping out my PillPacks without medications because they fail to refill my prescriptions with my doctor, or they add too many medications causing me to throw away perfectly fine pills.

    Every single month something happens. Wheather it be issues like them accidentally putting my medications in 4 separate PillPacks a day, or issues like them leaving out medications I need to stay healthy. I’m constantly having to fight between them and my doctor’s office, and it’s exhausting.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


Showing 1-11 of 83

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