News of Amazon's acquisition of online pharmacy startup PillPack have had analysts assuming the eCommerce conglomerate is ready to introduce an online pharmacy to its suite of services. However, new reports from CNBC on Wednesday (Nov. 21) said Amazon may first be gearing up to introduce the service to its own employees.
The publication said PillPack recently filed for several new pharmacy licenses, most of which are to secure clearance to ship drugs from its warehouse in Phoenix to customers, reports said. Analysts at Jefferies have also identified additional licenses for operations in Washington, New Mexico and Indiana, which could signal bigger plans for Amazon as well.
Those analysts released a report this week that suggests the licenses would allow PillPack to ship to those various locations from its Phoenix base — whereas, previously, it was only allowed to ship drugs to Arizona and New Hampshire. While customers in every state, except Hawaii, can receive drugs from PillPack, only a select few facilities can deliver the product.
PillPack's license application to ship to Washington could mean it would be able to service Amazon employees at its Seattle headquarters, some analysts speculated, pointing to past initiatives by Amazon to test out some of its new services with employees first — including its Berkshire Hathaway healthcare joint venture with JPMorgan Chase.
Should Amazon pilot the PillPack acquisition with its employees, Jefferies noted, it "wouldn't be unusual," considering its past product pilots with its own workers in markets like Seattle, with a high concentration of Amazon employees. According to reports, Amazon has hundreds of thousands of staff already employed, and its recent decision to add new headquarters in New York City and Washington, D.C. suburbs will add more workers to test out Amazon pilots.