Friday, 16 November, 2018

Amazon buys online pharmacy PillPack in latest healthcare push

Amazon buys PillPack an online pharmacy that was rumored to be talking to Walmart		
		
	Ingrid Lunden

       @	   
   	7 hours Amazon buys PillPack an online pharmacy that was rumored to be talking to Walmart Ingrid Lunden @ 7 hours
Anna Jefferson | 28 June, 2018, 20:39

"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.

Building on some of those ideas, PillPack set out to help people who use multiple prescriptions better manage the process. The firm also helps to co-ordinate refills and renewals.

Terms were not disclosed on the deal for PillPack, an online pharmacy which operates in all 50 U.S. states and offers pre-sorted dose packaging and home delivery.

With its far-reaching and widely popular online site, Amazon moves closer to establishing beachheads in medicine chests across the US and using that muscle to alter the traditional playbook for prescription drug distribution. Beyond its recently announced move to form a venture with JPMorgan and Berkshire Hathaway to tackle wasteful health care spending, the PillPack acquisition is the first substantive step toward potentially upending the prescription drug supply chain.

"Amazon's acquisition of PillPack is a warning shot in what is about to become a major battle within the pharmacy space", said Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData Retail.

The good times in the pre-market lasted less than 90 minutes, unfortunately, thanks to Amazon's latest foray into a non-core industry.

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Shares of CVS and Walgreens declined on the news of Amazon's purchase. The deal is expected to close in the second half of 2018, according to a statement from the companies.

Shares of drug wholesalers McKesson Corp, Cardinal Health and AmerisourceBergen also fell sharply.

Some analysts played down the immediate threat Amazon poses.

Founded out of Boston in 2013, PillPack invites customers to sign up online, and the company then dispatches "over-the-counter" and prescription medications in individual packs organized by date and time.

"At this juncture we are not anxious about Amazon's entrance into the prescription market", Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Steven Halper said in a note.

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