It has been widely reported that Amazon has its eyes on entering the pharmacy industry from both a refill and PBM (pharmacy benefits manager) standpoint. Should we be worried about how this could affect retail pharmacy?
According to the Chicago Tribune, Amazon could reshape America’s pharmacy business model. Because of its massive logistics operation, it could easily start its own mail-based drug-delivery business, cutting out drugstores and distributors in the process. Besides, it can become the ultimate buyer of cheap generics; as there’s no reason the e-commerce couldn’t use its buying power to offer customers cut-rate generics for cash, which would appeal to uninsured patients and those on high-deductible plans. Not only that, but Amazon can also buy into the pharmacy business by buying a drug distributor or a pharmacy benefit manager, or it can even launch a startup of its own, as Amazon already owns wholesale distribution licenses in at least 13 states and could build its own pharmacy business from scratch, restructuring the drug supply chain in the process.