January 22, 2019

Amazon sends pharmacy stocks tumbling after snapping up online chemist

28 June 2018, 08:40 | Randall Craig

Above Pillpack


"Together with Amazon, we are eager to continue working with partners across the health care industry to help people throughout the U.S. who can benefit from a better pharmacy experience", PillPack chief executive TJ Parker said in a statement. Led by Parker, a licensed pharmacist, it was an early entrant into the field of online medication delivery. Amazon announced the deal early this morning.

With its far-reaching and widely popular online site, Amazon moves closer to establishing beachheads in medicine chests across the USA and using that muscle to alter the traditional playbook for prescription drug distribution. Earlier this year, the technology giant announced its move into USA employee health care via a partnership with Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan, while reports have been surfacing for a while that it was looking to enter the lucrative pharmaceutical realm.

Amazon is buying online pharmacy PillPack, and the main pharmacy stocks are getting whacked.

CVS shares tumbled 8.6 percent in pre-market trade on the news, while Walgreens slumped 8.5 percent.

The deal - for which terms were not immediately disclosed - marks Amazon's latest push into the healthcare industry. Shares of Cardinal Health, AmerisourceBergen, McKesson, and Express Scripts all dropped more than 3% on the news.

Walgreens shareholders seem particularly nervous about Amazon's advances into the pharmaceutical space.

The damage also spread through the pharmacy supply chain, with drug wholesalers seeing deep losses.

Some analysts played down the immediate threat Amazon poses.

FILE PHOTO: The Walgreens logo is seen outside the store in Times Square in NY, U.S., July 5, 2016.

'Pharmacy networks are controlled by managed care companies and pharmacy benefit managers with captive mail order capabilities. Just hours before Amazon announced it's buying PillPack, Walgreens beat analyst estimates on third-quarter revenue and earnings. The three companies said they would use big-data analysis and other high-tech tools to improve care and cut waste.

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