Rapper Nas invested early in PillPack, Amazon's latest buy

19 2018 shows the logo of online retail company Amazon displayed on a tablet screen in Paris

The acquisition marks the second time that Amazon has purchased a company that counted Queensbridge Venture Partners as an early investor. PillPack is meaningfully improving its customers' lives, and we want to help [PillPack] continue making it easy for people to save time, simplify their lives, and feel healthier.

PillPack, which was founded in 2013, is available in every USA state except Hawaii and a year ago said it expected to make $100 million in revenue.

"I think this is a fundamental step for Amazon, to begin to attack the pharmacy industry", said Adam Fein, president of Pembroke Consulting and an expert on the drug supply chain.

"This will disrupt the way consumers pick up their medications and has serious implications for brick and mortar retail pharmacies", Trzcinski said. "This is incredibly bad news for traditional players, like Walgreens and CVS, who stand to lose the most from Amazon's determination to grow its share".

Shares of drug wholesalers, like those of AmerisourceBergen, McKesson and Express Scripts, also took a smaller hit following news of the deal.

The purchase follows the announcement in January that Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway Inc and JPMorgan Chase & Co were forming a joint venture to tackle rising USA healthcare costs.

Pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) negotiate prescription drug pricing for employers and health plans and run large mail-order pharmacies, offering incentives to patients to fill prescriptions with them. While some drugstores already do home delivery, the news is still painful for brands that may not be ready to compete against the might of Amazon.

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Experts said buying the company outright will allow Amazon to develop and scale a mail-order pharmacy business more quickly than if it had to develop the expertise from scratch.

"The health care space and pharmaceutical space in particular are very complex, nuanced markets", Lekraj said.

Some analysts played down the immediate threat Amazon poses.

That said, Pessina added, "We know that we have to change the level of our services to the customers, and we are working quite hard on that direction".

PillPack has a license to operate in all 50 states in the US and has other accreeditations such as URAC AND VIPPS, but it doesn't seem to be operational in global markets.

It was the latest example of the fear the internet retailer can inspire when it enters a new industry. In a video explaining the system, PillPack CTO and co-founder Elliot Cohen said PharmacyOS is "more than just a rethinking of a pharmacy system".


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