Amazon to buy PillPack in move into pharmacy in US

Amazon to buy PillPack in move into pharmacy in US

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

Last year, a PillPack representative said the company is the "only independent pharmacy that now delivers medications nationwide".

Founded out of Boston in 2013, PillPack invites customers to sign up online, and the company then dispatches "over-the-counter" and prescription medications in individual packs organized by date and time.

"We're excited to see what we can do together on behalf of customers over time".

Hear that thud? That's the sound of Amazon getting into the retail pharmacy business.

Amazon, which outbid Walmart for PillPack, now has direct prescription access to customers in 49 states (Hawaii coming soon).

Hynes recommended buying shares of CVS Health and Express Scripts on weakness as Amazon's "bark is likely worse than the bite, at least initially".

Terms of the deal have not been disclosed by Amazon, but sources close to the deal say it was for just under $1 billion.

The company picked up independent pharmacy PillPack for an undisclosed amount on Thursday, allowing it access to PillPack's pharmacy distribution system created to make getting prescriptions simpler for patients.

The deal could give Amazon another major foothold in New England, where it has made several major acquisitions and investments in recent years.

Amazon could also negotiate directly with pharmaceutical companies, giving them the ability to offer cheap generic drugs even to customers without health insurance, according to industry experts. The big pharmacy chains have been bracing for Amazon's arrival, and this deal could "shake up the drugstore industry", per CNBC.

The S&P health sector dropped 0.61 percent, the most among the 11 S&P sectors, while Amazon gained 1.2 percent.

USA stocks finished mostly higher Friday, but they surrendered most of an early gain as worries about rising tariffs once again dampened investors' enthusiasm as the second quarter came to an end. Earlier this year, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, along with fellow CEOs Warren Buffett of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. and Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase & Co., announced an unnamed venture to tackle healthcare access and costs for their employees.

PillPack's $100m in revenue is tiny compared to other pharma-giants.

PillPack earned an "excellent" rating in PCMag's 2014 review.

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