Not satisfied with owning literally everything, Amazon just launched a pharmacy biz

What you need to know about Amazon’s new pharma biz

November 18, 2020

Jeff Bezos ominously famously said, “Your margin is my opportunity.”

Well, there’s a whole lot of margin in the ~$500B prescription drug business — and Bezos just jumped into the arena with Amazon Pharmacy, a home delivery service for prescription meds available in 45 states.

The timing of the launch — which comes in the midst of new winter sheltering measures — could not have been better.

Laying the groundwork for years

According to CNBC, Amazon ramped up internal discussions for a pharmacy product in 2017 and followed up in 2018 with a $753m acquisition of PillPack, which sends monthly prescriptions to the elderly.

Amazon Pharmacy will leverage PillPack’s infrastructure, “including its pharmacy software, fulfillment centers and relationships with health plans.”

PillPack will continue to operate its existing subscription business.

Here is what you can get

Customers over 18 can have prescriptions sent to Amazon Pharmacy for common drugs such as birth control, insulin, triamcinolone steroid creams, metformin (blood sugar medication), and sumatriptan (migraines).

Prime members get:

  • Free 2-day shipping (of course)
  • Discounts of up to 80% for generic drugs, and 40% for branded drugs

Pharma competitors are shook

The market pummeled the biggest names in the space:

  • CVS (-8.60%)
  • Walgreens (-9.63%)
  • Rite Aid (-16.33%)
  • GoodRx (-22.50%)

In yet-to-be announced news, Jeff Bezos is mulling a legal name change to Pill Gates.

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