Amazon buying online pharmacy with nationwide reach; drug store stocks dive

29 Junio, 2018, 02:14 | Author: Earnest Bishop
  • PillPack prepackages and mails consumers pills.									Pat Greenhouse  The Boston Globe

Amazon announced Thursday that it would acquire PillPack, an online pharmacy that seeks to simplify medication for people who take multiple drugs, by delivering packets with presorted doses.

The firm says it is 'designed to provide the best possible customer experience in the US for people who take multiple daily prescriptions'.

"We wouldn't be surprised to see pharmacies in Whole Foods at some point", he told the news service.

The deal is expected to close during the second half of 2018 and is subject to customary closing conditions.

PillPack delivers drugs in pre-sorted packaging to match the dosage.

Amazon.com Inc. is buying its way into the heart of the USA health-care system, instantly shaking up a prescription-drug industry already in the midst of a broader transformation. Aside from that deal, the Seattle company also is teaming with JPMorgan Chase and Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway to create an independent company that improves care delivery for employees while doing a better job managing the expense. Terms of the June 28 deal were not disclosed. Shares of drug wholesalers Mckesson Corp, Cardinal Health and AmerisourceBergen were also down.

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Amazon's acquisition of PillPack follows a larger-though less defined-move into the healthcare sector for the online giant. "PillPack makes it simple for any customer to take the right medication at the right time, and feel healthier", its cofounder and CEO TJ Parker said in a press release.

Shares in Walgreens Boots Alliance - which owns Boots in the United Kingdom, and CVS Health and Rite Aid were sent tumbling on Thursday afternoon, wiping $12.8bn (£9.7bn) off their combined market value.

Last year, Amazon gained approval from a number of state pharmaceutical boards to become a wholesale distributor, according to media reports. And what's notable about this particular case is the outsized degree of the market cap erased, relative to the price Amazon paid for PillPack.

"When Amazon sneezes, everybody else catches a cold", said Joseph Feldman, an analyst with Telsey Advisory.

"I think this is a fundamental step for Amazon, to begin to attack the pharmacy industry", said Adam Fein, president of Pembroke Consulting and an expert on the drug supply chain. The startup has raised upwards of $120 million in funding from backers including TechStars, Menlo Ventures, and Accel.

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