After books, streaming, groceries, Amazon targets pharmacy

After books streaming groceries Amazon targets pharmacy

  • News
  • Published on 11/17/2020

    2 min read

    After books, clothing, furniture, streaming, and fresh produce, only one major field of action for the online distribution giant Amazon was missing: drugs.

    The gap is filled with the announcement on Tuesday of the launch of its online pharmacy service for the United States, Amazon Pharmacy, which allows prescription drugs to be ordered over the Internet.

    As more and more people look to do their daily grocery shopping from home, the pharmacy is an important and necessary addition to the Amazon online store.“Doug Herrington, North America customer service manager, said in a statement.

    This offensive in the pharmacy sector places the Seattle-based e-commerce colossus (northwest) in direct competition with pharmacy giants like CVS Health Corp or Walgreens Boots Alliance, the two largest drugstore chains in the United States. United States. “This integrated pharmacy service fills one of the rare sectors where the group’s offer was not present.“said Art Hogan, analyst for National Securities.

    As of the announcement Tuesday, the titles of competing chains plunged at the opening of the Stock Exchange. At 3:00 p.m. GMT, CVS was down almost 7%, Walgreens was down almost 8%, while Rite Aid was down 14%. The shares of drug distributors like Cardinal Health (-6.3%) or McKesson (-6.0%) also faltered.

    The share of the group of Jeff Bezos gained 1%.

    Amazon could quickly nibble on market share by offering, in times of a pandemic, a service that avoids queuing in pharmacies.

    The group had already made a splash in drug delivery two years ago when it bought distributor PillPack for $ 753 million. This site specializing in the distribution of pharmaceutical products delivers and packages prescriptions to chronically ill patients requiring multiple medications each day.


    Now Amazon is seeing more. It has a new section on its site dedicated to pharmacy, allowing customers to fill a prescription from their computer or phone.

    There, they can save their health insurance information on a secure profile and have their doctor send the prescriptions directly to Amazon Pharmacy.

    As there is a strong demand for transparency from American consumers with regard to drug prices and as discount card programs such as GoodRx start to flourish, Amazon is clearly banking on its information effort. on prices to conquer this market.

    Internet users will thus be able to compare the price differences according to their insurance. They will also be able to see the various brands of existing generics and the various possible dosages.

    Amazon specifies that it will not deliver certain drugs, such as those based on opiates.

    To attract subscribers to its Prime service, the group will offer free delivery of drugs in two days as well as discounts when they pay for certain drugs without insurance.

    By launching this digital pharmacy and offering discounts to its paying members, this is the most significant breakthrough Amazon has ever made in selling prescription drugs.“noted Art Hogan of National Securities.”This is the first time that buyers can order their remedies directly from Amazon.“, he underlined.

    The entry of the Seattle giant promises to make traditional drugstore chains react. Two years ago, when Amazon took its first steps in the sector with PillPack, the CVS chain broke its piggy bank to buy insurer Aetna for $ 69 billion and expand downstream to insurance- health.