In a long-awaited move into the drug supply chain, Amazon is acquiring the online pharmacy PillPack, the two companies announced Thursday. 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.
"PillPack's visionary team has a combination of deep pharmacy experience and a focus on technology", Jeff Wilke, Amazon's CEO of worldwide consumer, said in a release. PillPack and Amazon said they expected to close the deal by the end of the year. "We would not also be surprised to see them push into other areas of healthcare".
Amazon's purchase of an online chemist that opens an immediate nationwide drug network in the U.S. has shaved billions off the value of three major pharmacy chains.
Online retail giant Amazon is entering the pharmacy business after months of speculation that the company could disrupt how prescription drugs are sold the same way it upended bricks-and-mortar retail.
The company had attracted interest from Walmart Inc., which was looking to buy it for under $1 billion, CNBC had reported in April. In January, Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase announced plans to create an independent company that's "free from profit-making incentive" and geared toward providing innovative healthcare solutions to their us employees.
Amazon did not disclose the terms of the PillPack acquisition.
"PillPack is meaningfully improving its customers" lives, and we want to help them continue making it easy for people to save time, simplify their lives, and feel healthier. He took on the $800 billion grocery industry with last year's purchase of Whole Foods, and broke into consumer electronics with the creation of the Kindle e-reader and Echo voice-controlled speaker.
Rite Aid is headquartered in East Pennsboro Township.
Some analysts played down the immediate threat Amazon poses.
Walgreens stock was down 9.46% in pre-market trading.
Now tell us what you think! The startup has raised upwards of $120 million in funding from backers including TechStars, Menlo Ventures, and Accel. The company raised more than $118 million from brand-name investors including Accel, Sherpa Capital and NY rapper Nas's Queensbridge Venture Partners.