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US: Amazon gains wholesale pharmacy licenses, looks to expand

 |  October 29, 2017

Alexa, Amazon’s digital shopping assistant, might want to be your drugstore, too: Amazon reportedly has obtained pharmacy licenses in a handful of states, hinting at possible plans to disrupt both the drugstore business and the larger healthcare industry.

According to the CNBC, the e-commerce giant has received wholesale pharmacy licenses in at least 12 states: Alabama, Arizona, Connecticut, Idaho, Louisiana, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Dakota, Oregon, and Tennessee. Some states require the permits to sell “professional use only” medical devices to medical and dental practices such as procedure trays, sutures, and syringes.

Amazon’s potential entry into the pharmaceutical business spurred drug store and pharmaceutical benefits manager CVS to make a US$66 billion offer for health insurer Aetna, according to the Wall Street Journal. As the Journal noted, most prescriptions are filled in bricks-and-mortar pharmacies, though patients with chronic conditions are encouraged by insurers to get their medications through mail-order dispensaries.

According to CNBC, Amazon expects to decide by Thanksgiving whether it will begin selling prescription drugs online. Morningstar analyst Vishnu Lekraj, however, is skeptical about reports linking Amazon to the business of selling medications.

Full Content: CNBC

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