June 28: Amazon has announced today that it is buying online pharmacy PillPack. Following news of the purchase, shares of Walmart, CVS, and Walgreens fell.
The growth of the online pharmacy business has been slow, because many people don’t trust online pharmacies (see our article on “Where to Buy Prescription Medications“).
Amazon is a trusted brand, with a reputation for fast and reliable deliveries.
In addition, if Amazon eventually becomes a major sales channel for prescription drugs, they could negotiate lower prices with pharmaceutical companies, just as they have done in the book business.
They sale will take about six months to complete, and it will take longer still for Amazon to build their business, but it could have a dramatic effect on how Americans buy prescription drugs.
On June 19, CVS launched its own home-delivery service. It is the first national retailer to offer prescription delivery.