Amazon to buy PillPack in potentially disruptive drug retail push

28 June, 2018, 22:26 | Author: Cynthia Curry
  • Above PillPack

PillPack is still a relatively small player in the pharmacy space, and it has a lot of obstacles to overcome to compete with established pharmacy giants, he said.

Amazon today unveiled plans to get into the pharmacy business with the acquisition of the online service PillPack. Bloomberg reported it to be $1 billion, citing a person it said was familiar with the matter.

Shareholders suffered jitters after Amazon closed a deal with PillPack, which sells prescriptions in every U.S. state except Hawaii.

"PillPack's visionary team has a combination of deep pharmacy experience and a focus on technology", said Jeff Wilke, Amazon CEO Worldwide Consumer.

PillPack supplies pre-sorted prescription drugs and other services for people who take multiple medications, a growing market as the US population ages and requires treatment for multiple complex, chronic conditions.

Terms of the arrangement were not immediately disclosed.

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"We know that we have to change the level of our services to the customers and we are working quite hard on that direction, but we are not anxious", Pessina said.

The damage was felt all along the pharmacy supply chain, with the likes of CVS, Rite Aid, Cardinal Health, AmerisourceBergen, McKesson, and Express Scripts all dropping on the news. It also handles deliveries, refills, and adjustments to medications.

The announcement comes one week after Amazon, JPMorgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway revealed the CEO of their new healthcare tech company.

Some analysts played down the immediate threat Amazon poses.

"They've gotta go to the store three or four times a month because the pharmacy can't even fill them the same day", Parker said. "Pharmacy networks are controlled by managed care companies and pharmacy benefit managers with captive mail order capabilities". Walmart was reportedly interested in buying PillPack earlier his year, but Amazon seems to have won out in the end. PillPack already raised over $120 million in funding, according to Crunchbase.

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