Someday in the future this day may be looked back upon as the death of the drug store industry, as Amazon looks like they may be entering the pharmacy business. The big challenge for them would be securing insurance contracts to make sure all customers can buy from them, but if they get that done they will become an instant force in the mail order prescription market. I’m sure that there’s folks at CVS and Walgreen’s who are sweating a bit right now. I know the investors are, both of their stocks dropped 3% after the announcement from Amazon.
Also, here’s an article that explains why it would be tough for Amazon to crack into the business of selling prescriptions.
NEW YORK — Amazon.com may be on the cusp of entering the pharmaceutical dispensing business, according to a report published by CNBC Tuesday. The company reportedly has hired a general manager whose role is said to be helping the online retailer explore how to hang a pharmacy shingle.
“I think Amazon would introduce a lot of transparency to what drugs really cost,” Stephen Buck, co-founder of GoodRx, told CNBC. The report suggested Amazon.com could grab as much as $50 billion in prescription sales.
Amazon.com did hire Mark Lyons two months ago from Premera Blue Cross. A source told CNBC that Lyons is tasked with building an internal pharmacy benefits manager for Amazon employees, which might be later scaled out.
CNBC noted that in Japan, Amazon has added drug and cosmetics delivery to its Prime Now options, and its Japanese site now boasts a pharmaceuticals category page. It noted that Amazon’s playbook typically includes testing new offerings outside the U.S.
Amazon had originally backed Drugstore.com in that company’s bid to become an online retail pharmacy, the report said. At a time when brick-and-mortar drug store retailers were first wrestling with online offerings, Drugstore.com and Rite Aid entered a partnership enabling Drugstore.com patients to pick up their prescriptions at a Rite Aid.
Walgreens acquired Drugstore.com in 2011 and five years later dissolved the business as Walgreens focused on its Walgreens.com URL.