Fears that the tech giant was primed to shake up the pharmaceutical.
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Pharmacy shareholders will perhaps find solace in the fact that they're not the only industry to have billions in market value erased by a single Amazon announcement.
Amazon said the deal is expected to close in the second half of 2018. "PillPack makes it simple for any customer to take the right medication at the right time, and feel healthier", its cofounder and CEO TJ Parker said in a press release. The startup has raised upwards of $120 million in funding from backers including TechStars, Menlo Ventures, and Accel. Led by Parker, a licensed pharmacist, it was an early entrant into the field of online medication delivery.
Those companies increasingly rely on medications to bring customers into their stores. The service is aimed at people taking more than one prescription drug every day. The specifics of what the company will do, though, are still unknown.
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PillPack's services include pharmacy-by-mail products that are meant to focus on patients' experiences rather than individual drugs.
As it has grown, the company has found itself entangled with some of the traditional powers in the business.
"CVS CVS.N and Walgreens have become particularly reliant on the pharmacy side to drive their businesses forward", said Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData Retail, calling it a "folly" to not invest in retail. In February, the grocery chain Albertsons Cos. said it would buy Rite Aid in an effort to hold off Amazon.
That's bad news for Walgreens.