Is Amazon Contemplating Entering the Pharmacy Industry?
Amazon seems to be branching out in a lot of directions as of late. Its acquisition of Whole Foods earlier this year is but one example of the e-retail giant’s growth, and its newly announced in-home delivery service goes to show just how fierce a competitor it really is. Now, it seems that Amazon might be looking into delivering prescription drugs, too, although no one at Amazon has actually confirmed anything. The telltale sign is that public records show that Amazon has obtained licences that allow it to act as a wholesale drug distributor in at least 12 states, 11 of which have already approved its application ( Nevada, Arizona, North Dakota, Louisiana, Alabama, New Jersey, Michigan, Connecticut, Idaho, New Hampshire, Oregon and Tennessee). The twelfth is Maine, and it seems to not have come to a decision as of yet.
There have been rumors going on about this for a while, but Amazon’s intentions aren’t as of yet clear. Is Amazon hoping to ship medicine directly to customers, or are they planning on partnering up with a pharmacy benefits manager instead? Of course, as of now, all this is speculation, but Amazon apparently needs to make a decision by Thanksgiving, so we should have more information on its intentions soon. One thing is for sure, though, you won’t be able to order your meds from Amazon anytime soon, because it will first have to get a pharmacy license as well as build a pharmacy team to properly handle orders.
Still, it’s interesting to note that ever since Amazon’s acquiring of the licenses for those twelve states, many big pharmacy’s stocks (including CVS’s) have gone down considerably, even before we know exactly what Amazon’s intentions are. One thing is sure, though: if Amazon really intends to enter the big pharmaceutical market, the sky will be the limit and I expect that those other pharmacy giants’ stocks will go down even further. As we’ve seen in other markets, Amazon certainly isn’t shy about pushing its way through and is generally very successful in its new endeavors. All we (and the pharmacy industry) can do for now is sit tight and await further news.