September 23, 2018

Amazon acquiring online pharmacy PillPack, sending drug retailer shares down

28 June 2018, 08:42 | Rodolfo Wallace

PillPack prepackages and mails consumers pills. Pat Greenhouse The Boston Globe

PillPack prepackages and mails consumers pills.									Pat Greenhouse  The Boston Globe

Walgreens stock was down 9.46% in pre-market trading.

It also coordinates refills and renewals, and makes sure shipments are sent on time. The big pharmacy chains have been bracing for Amazon's arrival, and this deal could "shake up the drugstore industry", per CNBC.

"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.

Amazon was vague in terms of what it plans to do with PillPack, other than supporting the startup's team as they "continue making it easy for people to save time, simplify their lives, and feel healthier", according to Amazon's worldwide consumer CEO Jeff Wilke.

"Together with Amazon, we are eager to continue working with partners across the healthcare industry to help people throughout the USA who can benefit from a better pharmacy experience", PillPack co-founder and CEO TJ Parker said in a statement.

'Together with Amazon, we are eager to continue working with partners across the healthcare industry to help people throughout the United States who can benefit from a better pharmacy experience, ' Parker said in a statement.

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PillPack, which launched in 2014, is available in every U.S. state except Hawaii. Shares of drug wholesalers Mckesson Corp, Cardinal Health and AmerisourceBergen were also down.

"You see, the pharmacy world is much more complex than just delivering certain pills or certain packages", CEO Stefano Pessina said on a post-earnings call that was dominated by discussions around Amazon's foray.

Some analysts played down the immediate threat Amazon poses. "Pharmacy networks are controlled by managed care companies and pharmacy benefit managers with captive mail order capabilities".

With Amazon's (amzn) firepower behind it, PillPack can upend how customers buy and receive their prescription medications.

Last week, Amazon, JPMorgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway announced Boston doctor Atul Gawande as the chief executive of the companies' new health care venture, which will be based in Boston. Amazon says it expects the deal to close during the second half of this year, pending regulatory approval.

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