Amazon makes first move into healthcare with online pharmacy acquisition

pharmafile | June 28, 2018 | News story | Medical Communications, Sales and Marketing amazon, pharma, pharmacy 

It’s been thought to have been on the cards for some time, but now, after much speculation, retail giant Amazon has finally made an official move into the healthcare space with the acquisition of online pharmacy PillPack.

While only a small first step, the move could have resonant consequences for the industry, and this was reflected in the market, which saw share values drop across the board: Walgreens Boots Alliance was down 11%, Rite Aid Corp dropped 13%, and CVS Health Corp fell by 10.6%, with many more impacted by smaller increments. With the new acquisition of a firm which organises and delivers prescription medicines, Amazon places itself in direct competition with these companies.  

However, as disruptive as the move could prove to be, for now, industry figures have remained unshaken, with Wallgreens Chief Executive Stefano Pessina telling listeners in an earnings conference he was “not particularly worried”, viewing the move as more of a “declaration of intent” than anything else at this time, noting that “the pharmacy world is much more complex than the delivery of a certain [pills or] packages.”

“PillPack’s visionary team has a combination of deep pharmacy experience and a focus on technology,” says Jeff Wilke, Amazon CEO Worldwide Consumer. “PillPack is meaningfully improving its customers’ lives, and we want to help them continue making it easy for people to save time, simplify their lives, and feel healthier. We’re excited to see what we can do together on behalf of customers over time.”

TJ Parker, co-founder and CEO of PillPack, added: “PillPack makes it simple for any customer to take the right medication at the right time, and feel healthier. Together with Amazon, we are eager to continue working with partners across the healthcare industry to help people throughout the U.S. who can benefit from a better pharmacy experience.”

Both parties anticipate the deal to close in the second half of this year.

Matt Fellows

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