The retailing behemoth made its first significant move into the pharmacy business by buying PillPack, an online company that ships medications to customers' homes, reports the Wall Street Journal. PillPack says it holds pharmacy licenses in all 50 states, meaning Amazon could become the de facto pharmacy delivery service for Prime members and beyond.
The firm says it is 'designed to provide the best possible customer experience in the USA for people who take multiple daily prescriptions'. Drugs are sorted by day and time, rather than medication.More news: 'Ant-Man and the Wasp' Antonio Banderas TV Spot Released
PillPack was founded in 2013 by then-pharmacy student T.J. Parker and Elliot Cohen through the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Hacking Medicine initiative. "We're excited to see what we can do together on behalf of customers over time". It offers medications in presorted dose packaging, coordinates refills, and handles shipments. "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".
The news comes just a week after a joint venture of Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway Inc (BRKa.N) and JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) named a CEO who will be tasked with significantly cutting healthcare costs. Amazon announced the deal early this morning.
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's acquisition of PillPack is sure to rankle the business-development team at Walmart, which was reportedly looking at buying the pharmacy startup in early April.