AMAZON VENTURES INTO PHARMACY BUSINESS, UPSETS CVS, WALGREENS
Amazon is making its biggest leap into the multi-billion-dollar health care industry with the launch of Amazon Pharmacy, a new digital drugstore that works just like a pharmacy with added perks for Prime members, Jordan Valinksy reported for CNN Business.
The potential impact of Amazon’s arrival in the pharmaceutical space rippled through that sector immediately. The stocks of CVS Health Corp., Walgreens and Rite Aid all tumbled Tuesday. GoodRx, a discount drug program that doesn't require insurance, also fell 15%. Shares of CVS closed Tuesday nearly 10% lower and Walgreens shed nearly 9%. Rite Aid Corp.’s stock plunged more than 16%, while Amazon’s shares finished slightly higher, Joseph Pisani ang Tom Murphy reported for the Associated Press (AP.)
Amazon Pharmacy is an extension of PillPack, the drugstore startup Amazon bought for more than $700 million in 2018. PillPack has pharmacy licenses in all 50 states and delivers medications to customers in pre-sorted doses designed to make it easier for people to take multiple medications a day.
That same year, Amazon announced a health care venture with Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase, but nothing substantial has come from that yet. Hints of an Amazon drug store launch appeared in 2019 when Amazon tweaked the branding from "PillPack, an Amazon company" to "PillPack by Amazon Pharmacy." PillPack will still exist as a "distinct service for customers managing multiple daily medications for chronic conditions," noted Amazon.