Hearing Amazon’s Footsteps, the Health Care Industry Shudders

from NYTs

With little more than a whiff of Amazon’s interest in a new business, the company can crater the stocks of potential competitors, prompting them to consider bold acquisitions and other drastic measures in response. Just ask companies in the home improvement, meal-kit and grocery businesses.

The latest category alarmed by the specter of competition from Amazon is the pharmacy market. With huge amounts of consumer spending and frustrating inefficiencies, it is the type of business that invariably attracts Amazon’s attention. CVS Health is now in talks to acquire Aetna, one of the nation’s largest health insurance providers, a move considered to be partly a reaction to the footsteps of Amazon.

The likelihood of Amazon’s eventually getting into the pharmacy business is high, several analysts and a former employee said. But it is not clear when it will make that move or how aggressive it intends to be.

The near-term threat may be somewhat overstated. Amazon has received wholesale pharmacy licenses in at least a dozen states, as The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported on Thursday. But the licenses permit the company to sell other kinds of products too. In Connecticut, for example, the license is for “wholesale of drugs, cosmetics and medical devices,” while in Louisiana it was granted to a “drug or device distributor.”

Brian Tanquilut, an analyst for Jefferies, noted that the company acquired many of the wholesale pharmacy licenses between fall of last year and early this year, around when the company started selling medical supplies to businesses. “It’s not evidence of a retail entry into the pharmacy business,” he said.

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18 Responses to Hearing Amazon’s Footsteps, the Health Care Industry Shudders

  1. Jimmy Bedoya November 3, 2017 at 8:52 pm #

    Initially, an e-commerce company based on the sale of books based from Jeff Bezos’ garage, Amazon has seen an immense amount of development over the course of 23 years. Amazon evolved from the sale of books to the sale of all types of products including clothes, electronic supplies, and household appliances. Nevertheless, this is not where the evolution stops. Amazon now also offers a variety of online movies and has recently established a deal with Whole Foods, where they offer a delivery service to all of its customers. Overall, Amazon sells over 200 million products in the U.S alone that categorize into 35 departments. Recently, rumors have surfaced that suggest Amazon is making strides to involve itself within the pharmaceutical market. With the pharmacy market consisting of vast amounts of consumer spending, there is no reason as to why Amazon should not be involved within this market. Several analysts and former employees suggest that there is a high possibility that Amazon will take part in the pharmacy world. Amazon is in the process of acquiring multiple pharmacy licenses, and have done so in at least a dozen states. The licenses, however, also permit Amazon to sell all types of products within the pharmacy market. Varying from state to state, one license allows Amazon to take part in the wholesale of drugs, cosmetics, and medical device, and another allows Amazon to be a drug or device distributor.

    Brittain Ladd, a supply chain consultant, who was previously employed by Amazon, said that he took part in numerous conversations about how Amazon can enter the market. Amazon was also in the process of brainstorming how exactly they could innovate the market by bettering customer experience and health care as a whole. In this sense, many believe that other pharmaceutical companies should prepare for Amazon’s entrance because Amazon’s power and intelligence pose a threat and are a very competitive company. Many consultants and analysts provide different ways in which Amazon could enter the market. Amazon could enter the market in an easy manner, where they set up a mail-order pharmacy that focuses on price-sensitive consumers without health insurance. Alternatively, Amazon could enter in a complex manner, by acquiring a pharmacy-benefit manager or collaborating with an existing one. This pharmacy-benefit manager is essential if Amazon plans on expanding their business within the pharmaceutical market. This manager would play a role in helping insured patients assess which pharmacies to use or not use, and could potentially operate their own mail-order pharmacies, taking the load and responsibility off the shoulders of Amazon’s leading managers. Nonetheless, however it is that Amazon chooses to enter the market, it is important to note the severity of the market and understand that it is nothing compared to clothing. In my opinion, I see Amazon taking part within this market with no hesitation, and upon entering; I picture Amazon revolutionizing the industry as a whole. Though it does put other pharmaceuticals in harm, Amazon will more or less be increasing the convenience of the consumer through making these drugs and medical related devices more accessible, and providing proper consultation for unsure consumers. Amazon sees no limits when it embarks on a journey so I would not be surprised if they start hiring their own physicians at some point, as well as providing their own form of health care. The truth is that Amazon has no economic, social, or technical restraints; they can pretty much do anything.

  2. Matt Resende November 3, 2017 at 11:38 pm #

    Amazon has cemented itself in the lives of people around the world over the past few years. It is hard to imagine Amazon getting bigger than they already are, but it is certainly possible and will most likely happen. The online retail company runs the world as we know it, but that is not enough for Jeff Bezos and his company. The idea of Amazon entering into the pharmaceutical business is almost unfathomable. The drug industry has always been something that is personable. If a prescription was needed, someone would have to go to their local drug store, whether it be CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid, or a Mom and Pop shop. Amazon, obviously being an online giant, would have to figure out how to take this industry and make it work in the Amazon system. It is definitely possible, considering everything else that Amazon has been able to accomplish in recent years. Their purchase of Whole Foods over the summer, for instance, showed that they have the power to put the Amazon name on any industry they want to. Doing so puts pressure on supermarkets to lower prices and offer better services. The same could be said about drug stores if Amazon chooses to enter this market. The article makes note that Amazon already has licenses to sell pharmaceuticals and devices in certain states, but not all. In order to distribute mail order pharmaceuticals, Amazon would have to obtain licenses in all fifty states. This is something Amazon can definitely do.

    Although evidence shows that Amazon is really capable of anything and have the funds to enter any market they want, the pharmaceutical industry is slightly more complicated than selling basic household goods and food. As the article says, “…there is more intense pressure to get it right,” when discussing health care and what Amazon wants to do in that field. There would be high standards set that may be too much for a company not primarily dealing with pharmaceuticals to handle. There would need to be specialists in the field brought in to manage the new branch of Amazon. These people would have to have experience in the industry and know that they would be managing something much more than Walgreens or CVS would be. Amazon may be the biggest company right now, but dealing with pharmaceuticals and health care may be biting off more than they can chew.

  3. Jeremy Daniels November 4, 2017 at 11:17 am #

    Amazon has always been a wildcard, expanding their interests in unexpected industries. It has always been about creating a better customer experience, and with the number of frustrating inefficiencies in pharmacy and health care, this should come as no surprise. What’s interesting is that people are only catching wind of this now, but Amazon has been acquiring these licenses for the past year. That alone is not much to go on, but many guesses can be made for what they have planned.

    I’ll definitely be following this interesting development. Two good methods of entering the market were stated in the article, and had pros and cons. However, I think Amazon will approach this in a way nobody will expect. They have the money, brand image, and resources to enter this market in any way they like. I’m unsure how CVS Health acquiring Aetna will protect them from further actions taken by Amazon, but it makes sense from a business perspective. This article provides a little more detail on the deal between CVS and Aetna.


  4. Steven Merrill November 5, 2017 at 8:35 am #

    This article talks about the growing possibility that Amazon will enter the pharmaceutical world. The company has acquired whole sale pharmacy licenses in a dozen states. If Amazon was to do this they would probably have some kind of mail order pharmacy the article says. Although this would take some time because they would have to have a license in every state within the United States which is not something one can get very quickly. Although it seems that Amazon would be willing to take that jump if need be. Lastly, the article says that this is an area that it is possible for them to get into, but they are going to have to make sure they do it right for it to be profitable or it would be a complete waste of time.

    This does not come as much of a surprise. Amazon is trying to get into as many markets as they possibly can. For instance they started out as a small online book selling website and quickly expanded. Now one can go on amazon and purchase books to clothes to even food. So by them entering the medical industry it shows that they are willing to try anything. This although may not be an industry that they will be able to jump right into. There are many more hoops that have to be jumped through to be able to sell medical items compared to selling a book in the United States. Licensees need to be acquired to be able to sell medicine. Also, Amazon will need to hire qualified pharmacists and other employees to be able to fill these prescriptions. This will be a big undertaking for Amazon to do this.

    It is easily possible for Amazon to enter into this field. If Amazon wants to be in this field that bad, they will find every way possible to do what they can to begin to sell medicine. Like it is stated above, it will take a period of time but they will do it. Also, it is somewhat alarming though too small “mom and pop” pharmacies that have been around forever. Is Amazon trying to shut these people down? Are they trying to become the world empire for anything that one possibly needs? The question that needs to be answered is: what really are Amazons’ intentions with what they really want to become in the end.

  5. Charles Carretti November 8, 2017 at 6:01 pm #

    It is amazing and frightening at the sametime to imagine being an executive of any corporation besides Amazon right now. The level of keen-eyed analysis of the market environment and adaptivity required by CVS Health to already be looking to acquire one of the nation’s largest health insurance providers, a result of an almost instinctive reaction to Amazon bagging up as many industries as they can, is nothing short of alarming. However, the Times article addresses the possibility that the arrival of Amazon into the pharmaceutical industry in the near future may be slightly dramatized. They may be trying to “Do (and Sell) Everything”, as the title of the embedded related article states, but there are a lot of intricacies and additional risks regarding the pharmacy business that Amazon may not yet be prepared for. They have, though, purchased multiple pharmacy licenses in at least a dozen states around the time they started to sell medical supplies to businesses, the article says. Time will indeed tell.

    We in a society are currently living under a corporate playground where every big name above us is either jumping through hoops to acquire higher stakes in an industry, tying knots together in an attempt for higher security of assets, or cowering in fear (or trying but failing to hide their fear) because of Amazon. Like I said, they are making a real effort and succeeding in exploring every potential industry within their reach, and though it is a valued analysis to consider when they will enter the pharmacy business, it doesn’t seem like it will happen any time soon, certainly not with the current transitional crisis of health care statutes in the United States. When the opportunity is at its highest and most profitable, Amazon will pounce onto it.

  6. Cristina O. November 8, 2017 at 11:05 pm #

    The fact that Amazon is debating entering the health care industry is no surprise. After seeing how Wal-mart, Target and even Costco have incorporated pharmacies into their structure, it seems like a natural step to take. Costco even offers different types of insurance ranging from health to auto and homeowner’s insurance. The acquisition of Whole Food Market provides the perfect platform to start experimenting within the pharmacy industry. Given the footprint of most stores, their Whole Body section which already carries things like cosmetics, vitamins and body care, could easily be expanded to accommodate the addition.

    Another option might be to do something similar to Target, which houses CVS pharmacies within their stores. Amazon could acquire an existing business or come to a similar agreement. Whatever they decide, there will likely be many casualties in the form of mom and pop pharmacies. Some larger chains like Walgreens or Rite Aid may also succumb to super giant.

  7. Nicholas Kerins November 9, 2017 at 11:08 pm #

    Amazon is a popular topic in the technology world and more specifically many articles on the Shannon web blog. I have responded to others for my past responses and chose to respond to this one again just because they are such a dynamic and interesting company. Having started with selling books and now being the giant company that delivers food by drone(almost) whenever Amazon makes a move we should take notice. Amazons latest rumored move is into the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry.
    The Article “Hearing Amazon’s Footsteps, the Health Care Industry Shudders” by Nick Wingfield and Katie Thomas gathered the facts surrounding the rumors of Amazon’s possible move into offering medicine and other healthcare services through their website. The rumors state that Amazon would sell drugs and other healthcare products on their website, but when pressed for comments a spokesperson chose not to respond. This is another extreme leap for Amazon that will present its new challenges when it comes to state laws that affect who can sell drugs as well as creating the infrastructure needed to sell these drugs. Amazons recent move into food and further establishing themselves in the clothing department has dramatically changed the landscape of those industries so a possible move into the healthcare field has as the title of the article states shuttering. This is hard to look negatively upon as in a capitalist society this is legal and encouraged. We can’t blame Amazon for being as big as it is, and we can’t blame them for wanting to venture into other industries to improve consumers lives. I personally am an amazon prime member and take full advantage of the services they offer. Amazon is a once a generation company and it would be inappropriate to put any restrictions on them. Legally everything they are doing is fine and if they were to venture into the healthcare industry there are only some laws that they must comply with, the article goes further into this when it states the certifications amazon must acquire. If Amazon doesn’t try to monopolize the many industries they are entering I will be interested to see the growth and reach of their company.

  8. zonghao li November 10, 2017 at 12:41 pm #

    With business, it’s all about expectations, and just as investor expectations drive Tesla stock despite remaining production problems, expectations will also play a big role in Amazon’s involvement in the healthcare/drug retailer industry. For now, Amazon’s talks to obtain legal licensing for drug distribution has certainly put CVS Health on its toes, with recent news showing CVS in talks to acquire Aetna. CVS needs to be especially wary because the Amazon’s entry into the healthcare industry will mean a formidable competitor is joining. Especially with Toys R Us’ recent bankruptcy, traditional brick-and-mortar businesses need to rethink their business model as e-commerce changes the industry. As consumers gain more access to different products through the internet, they no longer have to go to the local store just because it’s the only one there. Furthermore, companies like Amazon that are so big with economies of scale will mean they sell lower prices.
    Turning the conversation back to why CVS Health would be wary of Amazon, the reason is that Amazon has a lot of expertise in e-commerce which can disrupt CVS Health’s business; even though it has achieved economies of scale after staying so long in the industry, e-commerce is the “new” thing and there’s a high risk of consumers turning to trendy shopping ways. At the end of the day, it all comes down to consumer loyalty, but consumer loyalty is harder and harder to maintain as more and more choices emerge.
    CVS’ new plan to go into the healthcare industry is an attempt to diversify its income. As it is now, CVS relies greatly on retail drug sales and its pharmaceutical services that prescribe those drugs. For now, CVS may be able to rely on the brand recognition it has built up over the years to retain customer loyalty, but given time, Amazon’s entry will certainly take customers away with its one stop shop business model. That is why CVS’ acquisition of Aetna would be smart. By expanding on the services it can provide, CVS can appeal to more consumers in a way not too different from Amazon’s one stop shop model. In another attempt to match up with Amazon, CVS also introduced next day and same day delivery to its consumers.
    However, CVS, Amazon, and others in the healthcare/drug retail industry would need to watch out for something that affects all Americans: the law. The Affordable Care Act will no doubt affect the sales of certain prescription drugs, the main source of revenue for companies like CVS in the drug retail industry. Newcomers like Amazon may also want to pay attention to such news as well.
    Another point to note is that the Affordable Care Act may face repeal as Republicans discuss if repeal of the Affordable Care Act should be included in their tax plan. Such uncertainty may mean that big players like CVS, RiteAid, and Walgreens need to change their business model. With the internet, marketing has evolved, and it sometimes just takes one good advertisement to get a company’s name out. That is why companies like CVS, RiteAid, and Walgreens need to be especially wary of new competition like Amazon because brand recognition can be achieved in different ways now. Although initially, newcomers may not stand up to the behemoths in the industry, given time and money, they will certainly make an impact. Going forward, CVS is making smart moves to increase its competitiveness, and other companies in the industry should do so too. Because if not, they may face the fate of bankruptcy like Toys R Us, which couldn’t change its business model to suit the new e-commerce economy.

  9. Greg D'Ottavi November 10, 2017 at 2:23 pm #

    Over the course of the last 20 years, Amazon has expanded its production into every industry from books to groceries and its newest venture: pharmaceuticals. Healthcare in the United States is one of the most controversial industries and is constantly debated in politics due to the fact that there are so many citizens without it. Amazon, one of the largest product distributors in the world has taken large steps recently and is expanding exponentially. With the acquisition of Whole Foods this year and the desire to move into the pharmaceutical business, possibilities are almost limitless. This New York Times article focuses on various reports of Amazon’s high possibility of entering the pharmacy market. Already with the last two years, Amazon has received wholesale pharmacy licenses in at least 12 states and seems to be increasing that number nationwide. According to the article is not clear as to when Amazon will be making its move into the pharmacy business, but the likelihood seems extremely high.
    This is alarming for the healthcare and pharmaceutical industry as Amazon is notorious for upending other industries. Amazon is able to do this because of the efficiency level at which they operate and ultimately the convenience. Online shopping has become the societal norm in many cases because it allows customers to purchase a wide variety of products without ever leaving the comfort of their homes. This is something that the world has never seen before, especially at a large scale like this and with such efficiency. If customers are able to purchase their prescriptions online at a lower price than any other distributor, Amazon will have created a monopoly on yet another industry. They have already nearly conquered the book industry and has made significant disruptions in the multi-media and entertainment industries. Amazon entering the pharmacy business would do nothing less than completely disrupt fellow distributors and likely put them out of business eventually.
    Interestingly, it seems as though Amazon has been planning to make this move for some time; with the acquisition of Whole Foods, they will now have a physical location to distribute pharmaceuticals. This is something that retailers like Walmart and Target have exploited within their stores to bring in extra business and it Amazon is not one to avoid extra business. If Amazon were to become involved in pharmaceuticals, it would likely appeal to those who already use Amazon for various other products, but the expansion is almost limitless in the end. Amazon has the ability to enter full scale into the healthcare business if they eventually acquire what is called a pharmacy benefit manager. This would allow them to sell pharmaceuticals to insured patients and create partnerships with companies to provide health services to employees beyond selling prescribed medication.
    In my opinion, this is something that I believe many companies should pay close attention to because not only will it benefit many consumers, it will put competitors at a disadvantage. When looking at what Amazon was able to do to so many other competing industries, it is likely that they will do the same in this case. There is a lot of speculation surrounding their involvement currently, but it will be interesting to see what their next move is. Amazon has not made any significant impact on the grocery industry just yet, but I do not believe it will be long before more and more customers begin to use Amazon as their main outlet for groceries. Once that happens, there will be very little limitations on what Amazon will expand into next.

  10. Jordan A November 10, 2017 at 2:26 pm #

    It would be very interesting to see Amazon make its way into the pharmaceutical industry. Amazon has been constantly expanding their range, so it is not too surprising. I would not expect them though to make a move in the near future. Amazon is a smart company and they are going to continue to do more research. Amazon is only going to enter this new marketplace if they feel that the market’s inefficiencies give them an opportunity to make profit.
    I think a big reason why Amazon is interested in this market is because it is such a big one. A lot of people prefer to buy items in stores as opposed to online. Everyone needs healthcare though. People are also more likely to buy necessity like medicine as opposed to something they don’t necessarily need. Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods can back up this idea. Food is something everyone needs and consumes. Grocery stores are not going out of business any time soon. Pharmacies are not going away either until there is a way to prevent every illness.
    At the end of the article, the author mentions the idea of having virtual doctor visits through the Echo. That seems within the realm of possibilities. I’ve learned in my information systems class that doctors now are able to perform surgery remotely via new technology. Virtual visits to the doctor is taking it a step backwards, not forward. Most likely there will be limitations, but I can envision a possibility where people visit their doctor online for minor illnesses or as a preliminary visit.

  11. Valerie Dorsett November 10, 2017 at 2:39 pm #

    Everyone this day and age knows who Amazon is. Amazon sells millions of products to billions of people every day. This ranges from your everyday products to some that are not so common. Amazon has also recently introduced grocery shopping. The pharmaceutical business is huge and makes billions of dollars every single year. Amazon has been able to tackle down anything that it wants to add to their business. If Amazon was able to pick up on the pharmaceutical business many would go out of business or be forced to join alongside Amazon in order to survive.
    Many people wonder, is it even possible that this could become a real add-on to Amazon? This article states that there is a very high possibility that this could be in our future. Companies like CVS Pharmacy are considering to join other large insurance providers like Aetna, just to survive if Amazon’s pharmacy becomes a working service. Amazon has been granted some wholesale pharmacy licenses in many states. However, there is not one specific license that grants the same access for every single state. Since Amazon has been able to acquire the authority to sell food they could change the healthcare system as well. Personally, I have not purchased any food items off of amazon. I like to buy my food from an actual supermarket where I can inspect the food that I am buying.
    In order to avoid these hard to get licenses that would satisfy every state, Amazon would have to come up with a different technique. However, that is unlikely so Amazon would have to find a way to proceed legally. Maybe they can start by selling over the counter drugs like cough medicine and Tylenol. An analyst said cash paying customers add up to only five percent to ten percent of the $560 billion prescription drug business. This proves that not many people pay with cash these days anymore, and shows that paying online with Amazon by using a credit/debit card or with PayPal would not be an issue at all. People already shop on Amazon for items and food so adding any pharmaceutical products would not be an issue at all. Amazon already has the crowd necessary in order for this to be a success, so it will most likely not fail.
    The article continues on by saying that Amazon could sell to insured customers as well and maybe take it step further and act as there pharmacy-benefit manager. Personally, I do not know how that would work if Amazon was your pharmacy manager. They would either have to create their own system or collaborate with one that is already successful. Anything Amazon has done has been successful so far, so I am sure they will find a way to get it done. The article adds that they would want to try providing services to their customers, but also doctors as well. Amazon also wants to try to include the Amazon Echo into the picture by creating virtual doctor consults. The Amazon Echo cannot even see you only hear you, and there is a robot on the other side, not an actual doctor. I do not see this being used often or even being that useful. They would have to set it up so that way you could be speaking to a real doctor. Even then, going to see a doctor in real life would be a lot better in my opinion. This is Amazon we are talking about though, they truly think different and make stuff happen.

  12. Ameer Richmond November 11, 2017 at 8:22 am #

    Amazon stepping into the pharmaceutical industry would be a huge step, for both the company and many other parties. Having access to medicine through Amazon can turn a lot around very fast. The steps Amazon has already taken part of is already huge, they are now looked at for more than just books and socks. This can turn around and make way more revenue for everyone as well. With the current pharmacy market being estimated at 560 Million, Amazon can make between 5 to 10 percent within the first year. Looking at other companies in this market such as Walmart and Target, many say this helped their business out in many ways. This should not be hard for Amazon to get a hold and a great start on, majority of the infrastructure is there according to the article.
    I like the idea, I feel as if this is a huge step for Amazon, I just have some concerns regarding how this would work. Taking this step for Amazon can mean many acts of fraud in the first few years with medicine, and with payments. Along with that being a concern, how are they going to monitor what medicines are being sold if they are good and not expired. With those being the cons, there are many pros with this as well. This would be another great thing Amazon can use to help make their company bigger as a whole. The industry can help make this affordable as well. This can be easier on insurance companies and even doctors. I am very interested in seeing how Amazon will be partaking in this new industry, I hope it works out and in the near future medicine will be as easy as clicking a button.

  13. Leah Hannawacker November 11, 2017 at 3:21 pm #

    In this article, it touches on the idea that amazon is looking to get into the pharmaceutical industry. With this new interest Amazon has received a wholesale pharmacy licenses. This license is valid in the united states, in about 12 states as of right now. Within the states, there are different circumstances of what can be distributed. The states have different medical privalleges whether they are allowed to sell medical devices or cosmetics. These states can also have the ability to distribute drugs and devices. With healthcare and wellness a priority for amazon, this move to be licensed to sell phamacutical good will have a positive impact on their company. With this new agreement it give amazon the opportunity to establish more brick and moarter locations. Just like getting the partnership with wholefoods, this increases consumer convience to pick up their product.
    In my opinion, this is ideal for many consumers. If there is problems with medical supplies or service, this makes the locations come into play. Amazon can also offer perks through their prime services to make getting medicine more accessible. If consumers have the proper insurance, this could benefit those who need their medicine quickly. They can also offer more convienient hours for pick up instead of the standard pharmacy hours. Overall, this is a move in the right direction for amazon’s expansion.

  14. Eric A November 11, 2017 at 7:20 pm #

    Amazon is one of the most dynamic and successful companies on earth. They are primarily known as a retailer, but they are involved in a plethora of other industries including (but certainly not limited to) technology, food, and even shipping. With a market value of $465 billion (per CNBC) and growing steadily, they certainly have the ability and funds to take risks and expand further than they already have. A couple of my blogmates have said that it seems crazy that Amazon could enter the pharmaceutical industry, but it doesn’t surprise me at all. They have established a trend of doing things that others won’t (or can’t) and I don’t see that ending any time soon.
    I believe that CVS would like to acquire Aetna to diversify. Amazon and companies like it have already threatened one part of their business model (brick and mortar retail stores) and are now planning to threaten their pharmaceutical business as well. Acquiring Aetna would help protect them from catastrophe if they lose market share in the businesses they are currently in. Personally, I think it is a great idea because they are already in a related industry assuming they are able to do it. However, I would not be surprised if the federal government blocks the move. This is because the government may see a significant conflict of interest by having an insurance and pharmaceutical company owned by the same group.
    Amazon has changed our lives in many ways. They revolutionized the way we shop for retail goods, changed the way we read (with the Kindle), and even made overnight/2-day shipping the standard instead of the exception. No company will ever be successful 100% of the time but if any company is going to change the pharmaceutical industry in the future, it’s going to be Amazon.

  15. Rebecca Hu November 17, 2017 at 3:57 pm #

    This is not the first time we see amazon exploring other areas of services. From my memory Amazon originally started out as a website that sells books and kindles the digital books. Now they sell almost everything from shoes to laundry detergent. It is crazy how they have expanded their services so fast. According to the article Amazon already have plans on expanding into the medical industries.
    Medical industries generally speaking are really profitable, especially in America. With patents and company able to set their own price with their products, it is a lucrative business. Amazon wants to get a share of the industry after recently purchasing Wholefoods and entered into the supermarket industry. I can understand why Amazon wanted in in the medical industry. Essentially real power and profit are in the hands of the distributors of these products. Amazon is acquiring licenses throughout different states for “wholesale of drugs” or “drug or device distributor.” I think it is a smart move for Amazon.
    I feel like compared to Apple, Amazon is good with keeping their information confidential until they are about to execute their plan. From the other article in the blog post, the survey showed Amazon was given the same amount trust with banks. Amazon has great success with their current model, they are expanding their goods and services but maintaining it under the same system. Allowing people essentially just to do a one-stop shopping to get all the products the individual needs. Especially with Amazon Prime, people can get their purchases in two days and it’s free for shipping. This quickly draws customers to use Amazon’s products and services. Just look domestically speaking there are no real competitors in the United States.
    Amazon is growing really fast in the United States, there is no other company that is like Amazon. In China, Amazon has many competitors their only advantage is on Kindle. While living in America, I found the fast delivering system and shopping site for everything only existed on Amazon. There is nothing to stop if Amazon wishes to expand into the medical field. So many people use Amazon to do their daily purchases, adding medical drug services benefit the customers. It will allow customers to have access to more products and more convenient.
    With the current market, we see there is a big increase in online shopping. It makes sense to me, to see the numbers of online shopping to increase. Also keep in mind the public transportation system in America is not well structured compared to other cities. Shopping online is much easier for people. People don’t have to carry heavy items all the way home, you can get anything from anywhere. Amazon is like a mall that put all the stores together, offers free and two-day shipping. I can only see positive things from both the consumers and Amazon by expanding their services. For the future, this kind of virtual service will only become more and more popular. Everyone is too “busy”, nobody has time. Everything has to be done fast and processed fast. Amazon can do that with the United States, which is the main reason we see the rise of Amazon in America.

  16. Shiyun Ye December 1, 2017 at 8:04 pm #

    Recently analyst for Jefferies, Brian Tanquilut, discovered a fun fact: the likelihood of Amazon’s getting into pharmacy is high. Many evidences have shown that Amazon is preparing for entering the industry of pharmacy. According to the report of New York Times, Amazon has received many different state’s licenses of wholesale pharmacy. Although these licenses can be in use of selling other goods such as cosmetics and medical devices, it is still a vital evidence that shows Amazon’s effort of getting into Pharmacy area in the future. Not only this, according to the employees in Amazon, be active in pharmacy business is always a topic of interest inside the company. Therefore, when this discovery been found, many other pharmacy companies are shuddered as Amazon could be such a competitive company. As the leading online shopping site, it has its own developed delivery method and is one of the biggest company that almost everyone will buy goods from it.
    However, if Amazon truly wants to join the industry of Pharmacy, it would be a difficult challenge as it is a sensitive area to enter. For example, how would Amazon benefit the insurers despite of non-insurers? In addition, what can its advantage comparing to the other pharmacy companies? Moreover, would Amazon hire a manager to organize this information while the profit is not even higher than the manager’s salary? These are just the first obstacle when considering begin a pharmacy section. Furthermore, as emphasized before, it is a highly sensitive area, which includes birth control and abortion. These aspects related to human rights and feminist sometimes. Moreover, some governors will intervene some the company’s operation when these sensitive issues are involved, which makes the company hard to maintain its own policies or goals. Therefore, with such a big challenge ahead, Amazon should really prepare itself before entering.
    Nonetheless, in the article, many people have already given various practicable solutions for Amazon. First, it is the first online shopping site that revolutionarily changed the way people shopping. Therefore, Amazon can try to start its first revolutionary online pharmacy. It can be catered for the price-sensitive customers and deliver them to their home with only a click. Second, they can create a specific delivery or pick up station for Amazon Pharmacy. It would be convienent for the disables. Moreover, the online consultant sounds not a bad idea as well. Although there are already many advanced online consultant services, Amazon can connect its online consultant to its own pharmacy service and its own delivery station, which not only creates more profit to itself, but also build more convenience to its customers. Revolution in healthcare just as the revolution in online shopping delivery can be a trend for Amazon in the future.
    In the end, no matter Amazon decide to join pharmacy industry or not, it is already one of the leading company in the world regarding to its fast growing profit. Moreover, its great services is still expanding so there are plenty of chances and prospects in its development.

  17. Vincent Scorese December 8, 2017 at 8:14 pm #

    In almost every other word out of someone’s mouth when it is in regards to buying something or where to locate a product, amazon is there. Amazon started first as a book rental place that really wasn’t the best at what they did and sometimes you were lucky if you even got your package at all. Amazon has come a long way from then and has made juristic steps into now becoming one for the most popular places to shop in the united states and also places elsewhere, amazon has become a powerhouse in the economy and hasn’t stopped there. Amazon is taking steps into other branches of business including that of groceries or even pharmaceuticals now.
    Amazon not too long ago purchased whole foods and that was there first entrance into a now storefront of over 700 locations where they can base out of. Which is unlike the amazon fresh and amazon direct food services because now customers have a storefront to visit and the number show that there is a store within five to ten minutes of every amazon customer that they regularly sell to which is a prime purchase for amazon (no pun intended there)
    Another thing they may take part in is the pharmaceutical business where they have licenses in over a quarter of all the united states and that doesn’t stop there as they are going to most likely acquire more and expand even further.
    Also with the introduction of drone into their armada of new innovations, they can put a serious dent into delivery options where the package weighs less than 5 lbs. mostly all pharmaceuticals weigh less than that so that could put the industry powerhouses like CVS at serious danger if Amazon can get this science perfected which is why they have resulted in trying to acquire insurance giant Aetna in an attempt to build themselves up more and try to combat the aggression laid out by amazon. Now how aggressive amazon would go into his market we aren’t sure but by the way the CEO has handles business thus far, it seems he would be on the side of aggressive and would like to have a stake in almost every market and eventually beat out the ranks of those like Alibaba who are globally a powerhouse. It will be very interesting to see where they go from here but I wouldn’t be surprised if amazon has five new projects launched before we see the resolution of this one.

  18. Brian Ayoub December 8, 2017 at 8:45 pm #

    As a company that has been impacted by Amazon and their constant new ventures into different industry’s, it has to be frustrating to see a powerhouse go into something so easily with so much net worth and just take over. CVS, the pharmaceutical company, I am sure feels the same way. As a step to avoid a fatal fate suffered at the hands of Amazon going into the pharmaceutical industry, CVS has entered talks to buy Aetna, one of the nations largest health insurance providers. This certainly takes away a large option that would have helped Amazon in their quest to enter in this industry. One way that Amazon could enter in this industry is target cash paying customers. This demographic makes up around 7 percent of the prescription drug business. Target and Walmart have done similar moves. I believe that this would be a low risk for Amazon since the mass wealth that they have. It also could really help them if it pays off since they will get their foot in the pharmaceutical business. Another way they can get into this business is if they use their recent acquisition, Whole Foods, as a platform to jump into this industry. I also think this would be a good idea, since it would allow different options besides receiving their medicine through the mail. Some say that if Amazon try to go into the drug industry, then it will not be in a safe, low risk way, it will be in a revolutionary way. I believe that this is really the best move for Amazon if they do it properly and do not skip over any steps. It makes no sense for Amazon to make a safe business move when they know that they are exponentially bigger than any of the pharmaceutical business such as CVS or Rite Aid. If they go into it, then they should try to take over, which I believe that they can since they have done it before in other industries. There are licenses and legal steps that Amazon must complete, however if they are patient and succeed in doing it the right way, then they will reap the benefits and profits. Amazon has already taken a dent of the food industry and are attempting to get into the delivery business with the introduction of drones, so I do not see why they cannot do the same with the pharmaceutical industry. Imagine not having to even leave your house when you are sick to get some medicine. I am sure it would help tremendously for people who cannot or chose not to go to a pharmacy like CVS or Rite Aid. I am sure CVS and Rite Aid realize this, and that is why CVS are in talks to acquire Aetna. They do not want to suffer from Amazon’s innovations, and I commend them from being proactive. However, do I believe that they can stop Amazon from taking over their industry? No way. Amazon are simply too big and powerful to be stopped at this point. Something really bad would need to happen to Amazon in order to stop them, so if they choose to go into an industry, then competitors better be able to be proactive and weather the storm.

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