Amazon buys online pharmacy PillPack

Amazon buys online pharmacy PillPack

Amazon buys online pharmacy PillPack

Amazon has always been rumored to be interested in the pharmacy business, and its entry could disrupt a business dominated by large American chains such as CVS and Walgreens.

Amazon announced Thursday it is expanding into the pharmaceutical space with plans to acquire online pharmacy PillPack. Sign up today to get pharma news and updates delivered to your inbox and read on the go.

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

"We wouldn't be surprised to see pharmacies in Whole Foods at some point", he told the news service.

Leading drugstore chains are already feeling the effects of Amazon's deal.

"I think this move jump-starts efforts and clears some hurdles [for Amazon], and what it's really going to do is fast-track any moves they want to make to get licensed", Rea said.

The deal is expected to close in the second half of 2018. Shares of both fell more than 9 per cent in early trading. PillPack previously raised $118 million from venture capitalists and is said to have surpassed $100 million in sales for 2017.

PillPack delivers prescription drugs to customers' doors.

Parker grew up behind the counter of his father's drug store in Concord, N.H., and has spoken of his exasperation seeing customers resort to spreadsheets to figure out how to schedule and sort their medications.

The Boston-based startup PillPack primarily caters to customers who take multiple medications. The specifics of what the company will do, though, are still unknown.

Pharmacist TJ Parker and computer scientist Elliot Cohen founded PillPack in 2013 after meeting at a medical-technology program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

As it has grown, the company has found itself entangled with some of the traditional powers in the business. It happened last October when the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Amazon had received approval for wholesale pharmacy licenses in at least 12 states.

Amazon declined to answer questions about how PillPack would be incorporated into its business and whether there are plans for global expansion.

Walgreens bought some of Rite Aid Corp's US stores past year after scrapping its deal to buy the smaller rival outright.

Related news