News reports have seen it coming for months, but now it’s official: Amazon.com (AMZN) is attacking drug distributors.
AMZN announced the purchase of closely held PillPack. The smaller company caters to patients who routinely take large numbers of medicines, like for high blood pressure or HIV. Their value-add is prepackaging the pills for each day, saving people time and reducing the risk of overdoses. Of course, there’s also a handy mobile app.
It’s not clear how many customers PillPack had before the deal, but they will obviously grow exponentially with AMZN’s heft behind it. That’s being viewed as confirmation the e-commerce giant is going after companies like WBA and CVS.
Walgreen Boots (WBA), barely a week after joining the prestigious Dow Jones Industrial Average, cratered 10 percent on the news. That was its biggest drop since October 2015. CVS Health (CVS) had its worst day in over a year, down almost 8 percent. McKesson (MCK), Cardinal Health (CAH) and Amerisourcebergen (ABC) also get hammered on the news.
The PillPack deal wasn’t a huge surprise because news reports have talked on-again, off-again about such a move since last summer. AMZN CEO Jeff Bezos has also been working with fellow tycoons Warren Buffett and Jamie Dimon to lower health-care costs.
In conclusion, drug distribution is another huge industry that’s in the process of getting disrupted by AMZN.