Amazon to buy Somerville online pharmacy startup PillPack

Amazon buys PillPack an online pharmacy that was rumored to be talking to Walmart		
		
	Ingrid Lunden

       @	   
   	7 hours

Amazon buys PillPack an online pharmacy that was rumored to be talking to Walmart Ingrid Lunden @ 7 hours

The internet giant said on Thursday it would buy online pharmacy PillPack, a small but significant step into the US healthcare sector.

PillPack has mail-order pharmacy licenses in all 50 USA states, which could allow Amazon to expand quickly.

PillPack strives to provide the best possible customer experience for people in the USA who take multiple daily prescriptions. "Together with Amazon, we are eager to continue working with partners across the healthcare industry to help people throughout the USA who can benefit from a better pharmacy experience".

Bezos been thinking about the drug business for almost two decades; in 1999, Amazon purchased a stake in Drugstore.com.

CVS fell 8% in early trading.

Walgreens Boots Alliance, already under pressure after its third-quarter earnings report, tumbled 9.4 percent and along with UnitedHealth's 1.8 percent drop pressured the Dow Jones index. CVS reported prescription sales of US$59.5 billion previous year, and Walgreens sold US$57.8 billion worth of drugs in its fiscal 2017.

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PillPack and Amazon didn't disclose the terms of their deal, but they said they expect to cement it in the second half of 2018.

The announcement comes one week after Amazon, JPMorgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway revealed the CEO of their new healthcare tech company. PillPack has relationships with most major drug-benefit managers, including Express Scripts CVS's drug-benefit unit. Those ties will give Amazon access to much of the prescription drug market in the U.S. Its software helps drugstore manage refills and offers an online dashboard for patients.

Some analysts played down the immediate threat Amazon poses. Acquiring PillPack's networks helps Amazon surmount those hurdles.

"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. It counts Accel Partners, Atlas Venture, CRV, Founder Collective, Menlo Ventures, Sherpa Ventures, Techstars among its investors.

It has raised $121 million in capital since its founding in 2013, according to figures from Crunchbase. The company had previously been linked to a potential deal with Walmart for under $1 billion according to CNBC. Both deals are valued at almost $70 billion.

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