Global ecommerce major is considering a foray into the prescription drug market. If it goes ahead with its plan, Amazon will soon start selling prescription drugs online, according to a CNBC report.
Amazon is currently researching opportunities in this market, which is estimated to be at $560 billion per year in the US. This move could threaten large pharmacy chains.
CNBC reports that if it decides to make the move, it will start expanding its senior team with drug supply chain experts.
It has been consulting dozens of people and has ramped up its hiring for a potential move into the online pharmacy space. One such hire is Mark Lyons from Premera Blue Cross, who will be responsible to build an internal pharmacy benefits manager for its own employees. It is also looking for a general manager to lead its pharmacy foray.
Analyst firm Leerink has separately reported that Amazon will get into the pharmacy management space. â€śItâ€™s a matter of when, not if. We expect an announcement within the next 1-2 years,â€ť Bloomberg quotes Leerink Partners analyst David Larsen as saying in a report to clients.
Goldman Sachs reportedly published a report in August of this year, in which it speculates that Amazonâ€™s eventual goal will be to improve price transparency for consumers and reduce out-of-pocket costs.
In fact, it already has a healthcare vertical where it sells medical supplies such as thermometers online. BBC reports that it also has a health team called 1492, which develops health applications for the Echo and Dash Wand and also works on hardware and software projects.
As per the Bloomberg report, Amazon has had interests in this space for years now. It invested in startup Drugstore.com back in the 1990s.