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Amazon swallows online pharmacy PillPack; gives a bitter pill to other drug store firms

Amazon (AMZN) inked a merger agreement with online pharmacy PillPack for an undisclosed amount. This deal, which is expected to close during the second half of 2018, will help the e-commerce giant in registering a strong foothold in the healthcare space.

“PillPack makes it simple for any customer to take the right medication at the right time, and feel healthier,” said TJ Parker, CEO of PillPack. He added, “Together with Amazon, we are eager to continue working with partners across the healthcare industry to help people throughout the US who can benefit from a better pharmacy experience.”

Amazon's buying spree since 2017

Let’s see how PillPack serves its customers. The company will get details like the customers’ ailments, list of current medications, insurance information, payment method, and also if they are allergic to any drugs. The customers have to pay the standard 30-day copays for the company’s service and they need not pay any additional amount for using PillPack. The Manchester, New Hampshire-based drugstore is licensed to ship prescriptions to all the states in the US except Hawaii.

Related: Atul Gawande will be the first CEO of Amazon/Berkshire/JPMorgan JV healthcare company

The online retail mogul already sells over-the-counter healthcare products and it also sells OTC health products of Perrigo (PRGO). Earlier this year, the company also had joined hands with Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathway (BRK.A) and banking behemoth JPMorgan Chase (JPM) to form a healthcare company with the goal of providing quality healthcare services to US employees at affordable costs. It was rumored that rival Walmart (WMT) was planning to acquire PillPack.

Amazon stock is modestly up by 0.5% in pre-market trading hours today, while its rival stocks in the healthcare space like CVS Health (CVS) and Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) dropped 8% and 9%, respectively.

Related: Walgreens Boots Alliance reports 3Q results

In the early hours of trading, the troubled pharma stocks continued to trade in the negative territory. Rite Aid (RAD) plunged over 10% and shares of other pharma companies, namely Cardinal Health (CAH), AmerisourceBergen (ABC) and McKesson (MCK) were also trading in red.

Related: Rite Aid swings to profit

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