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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32 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.

  19. Mark Marino January 29, 2018 at 9:39 pm #

    In today’s society, instant gratification is taken very lightly as the whole world is at out fingertips. From ordering the latest tech product, to researching the latest Supreme Court case, we are in a world where everything is accessible with a few clicks of a button. Now imagine, you go to the doctor and he or she prescribes you an antibiotic to combat that nasty strep throat. Instead of having it called in to the pharmacy, you notice your doctor pulls out their tablet or smartphone and go to Amazon.com and order your antibiotic right to your door step. You relax for a few hours and the next thing you know you have a drone dropping off a package containing your prescription in a box. This is the kind of society that Jeff Bezos and the rest of Amazon employees envision. Furthermore, even though mind-boggling, for this process to be feasible, it is much easier and may come sooner than one might expect.
    The threat Amazon possesses is not only seen in the retail industry. The threat is perceived across music, movies, TV shows, shipping services, groceries and now they might breakthrough health care. In an effort to stay away from the beast that is Amazon, CVS the countries’ leading pharmacy recently acquired Aetna, a health insurance company. This is a very smart acquisition by CVS. Aetna serves health benefits to many Americans. If Amazon wants to break through the health care barrier, they must first team up with health insurance providers to link them with the consumer. Now, CVS has the power to turn down Amazon as a client, then that wipes out a good portion of Amazon’s future health care customers.
    Pharmacies large and small can do all they want to stop Amazon, but Bezos is free to do what he and his team wants. According to the article, “Amazon has received wholesale pharmacy licenses in at least a dozen states.” Each license varies state to state but it is certainly a positive direction in favor of Amazon. The licenses also show a big victory for Amazon for the states to even grant them the licenses. This is the first indication that the states are willing to accept Amazon as a retailer for prescription drugs. Also, Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods provide a physical establishment for which pharmacies can be placed if people wish to pick them up rather than having at home delivery.
    To say the least, Amazon is taking over our lives. Between Amazon, Facebook, Google, Apple, and Microsoft, these companies know us as individuals inside and out. Where is the end to all of this? Will the government eventually step in and protect the consumer? We are already seeing this type of government regulation with the idea of net neutrality. The internet providers now have to come clean with what websites their customers are surfing, what they are looking into, and how often. To most Americans surprise, we are already seeing that through the “frightful five.” A company like Facebook have “beacons” set up throughout the inter-web to track what we are looking at. They are then building a profile for which they send to retailers. Is this an invasion of privacy? I certainly think so. Without agreeing to the terms and conditions that you agree to when you enter a website, we are unable to use that site. That is completely unfair to the consumer and should be investigated by the federal government.
    Although there is this fear of Amazon taking over our lives, literally, people are becoming more accepting of this. Some may argue that efficiency plays a big role in their opinion on what they think is important in their lives. If we choose to embrace this concept of what Bezos has in store for us, our lives will get easier. We could spend 30 minutes of our day ordering groceries, refilling prescriptions, ordering the newest piece of technology all in one purchase. Then, once we are done, we can click a few links and we could watch the newest movie. This is a model for which I can stand by and adhere to. In this type of society, our lives will get much simpler. Something I cannot get behind is the concept of private industry invading our personal lives. Relaying data to the government allows “big brother” to become even more powerful. I do not believe that is a society our fore fathers sought to establish in the 1700s. Instead of running here and there to purchase items, I can just simply order anything I want with a tap of a finger. If that is not easier on our lives, I do not know what is.

  20. Tyler Grzybowski February 2, 2018 at 3:22 pm #

    Amazon has begun to take over many industries as the ease and accessibility of online shopping has made it far more convenient to simply order the goods you need and have them delivered right to your door. What started as a company that basically only shipped books has now grown to encompass products from electronics, clothing, sports equipment, food, and almost everything in-between. Amazons vast infrastructure has created the networks it needs to sell virtually anything through its online store and have it delivered fast and hassle free to almost every corner of the world. Amazon has now accordingly set its sights on the healthcare industry which is certainly to be of rightful worry to the existing pharmacy market. With the prescription drug business amounting to a roughly $560 billion dollar industry Amazon could potentially find itself in another area with extremely promising revenue growth potential. The Healthcare industry currently struggles with a great deal of inefficiencies and Amazon’s quick delivery service and the ease with which anyone can get anything delivered would make it a perfect match to Amazons current business. The notion that Amazon has already started to take interest is that they have recently received wholesale pharmacy licenses in at least twelve states. While it’s noted that this may be because Amazon needed those license to begin selling medical equipment to businesses a former employee at Amazon did say that he participated in discussions on how Amazon could enter the market and what improvements they could bring. Just Amazons interest in healthcare has existing pharmacy companies worried. CVS health has been in discussions with acquiring Aetna which is possibly in some sort of connection with trying to prepare to keep Amazon from easily taking over if they do decide to enter healthcare sometime in the near future. If Amazon does enter the pharmacy business the most likely route it would take would be to set up a mail – order pharmacy. This would give them a customer base that cares about low pricing. These customers either have no health insurance or high enough deductibles such that they often have to pay the cost of medication upfront. Cash paying customers make up five to ten percent of the industry giving Amazon access to a $28-56 billion dollar market at first. Amazon could then expand even further into the industry by becoming a pharmacy-benefit manager. The biggest hurdle in Amazons way would to setting up an online pharmacy would be to secure retail pharmacy licenses in every state however besides that Amazon would have a very easy time implementing the pharmacy into its growing business. With retailers like target and Walmart adding pharmacies to their stores to bring extra business Amazon could once again make the purchase of yet another good more convenient for its vast customer base who already goes to amazon for all of their other needs.

  21. Chris Lineman February 2, 2018 at 6:25 pm #

    Amazon continues to dominate in the market. Amazon has recently been becoming known for groceries. Now, Amazon plans to get involved in the healthcare industry. It seems like Amazon seems to be able to buy almost anything a consumer could want. Amazon has yet to decide when they will jump into the healthcare market, but it is known it will most likely happen in the near future. This is bad news for pharmacies. However, it will definitely take some time for Amazon to take off with healthcare due to restrictions and gaining rights to sell these pharmaceuticals.
    When Amazon gets into the healthcare industry it will create great product revenue. The healthcare industry is about a 560 billion dollar industry. With Amazon already having a huge amount of customers, it would take off. Not only with the amount of customers they have now, but the customer service and their delivery service is unbelievable. Prescriptions would be able to be filled and delivered straight to your house by Amazon delivery truck. That would be very convenient for a sick person who doesn’t want to go out. Also, having a sick person stay at home would help stop a sickness from spreading. I believe Amazon going into the healthcare industry would be a huge asset to consumers.
    With Amazon joining the healthcare industry, it will create a lot of worry for competitors. CVS, Walgreens, Rite-Aid, and other smaller pharmacies would be in danger. CVS is already starting to try to improve by talking with Aetna. I believe it will cause a lot of change and competitors will be forced to try to match what Amazon will do. Another bonus when Amazon does this, is it will create even more jobs and the company will continue to expand. Amazon may be one the most impressive company in todays market.

  22. Jon Cortes February 2, 2018 at 7:06 pm #

    With organizations like Amazon around, it is no wonder that companies like CVS are eager to secure their future and are willing to expand to do so. Preparing to purchase a health care provider like Aetna shows that CVS Health does not want to be left behind or driven out of business by competition. Considering Amazon has received pharmacy licenses in U.S. states, this may not just be a overreaction on CVS’s part. In order to survive in today’s market, a company must be able to predict any potential threat as soon as it arrives. There are far too many organizations that have gone bankrupt due to not changing their current strategy soon enough. While Amazon may not necessarily be a threat to the healthcare industry, they do have the resources required to make a name for themselves. Amazon could even start a service that would deliver medicine to customers without them having to leave the house. CVS has been in business since 1963 and has always faced competition from stores like Walgreens and Rite Aid. However, this could change if Amazon wanted to enter the pharmacy game. Health care providers would most likely go with the company that provided the most medicine for their money. During difficult times in the economy, it is not uncommon for large organizations to buyout small or expanding companies so they can increase their current sales figures. In this case, CVS was looking to bring in a solid health care provider to give its consumers affordable coverage. Given the current lineup of online drug stores, we could see Amazon throw their hat into the ring and take the community by storm. Proving people whatever they need is what Amazon does best, and they will continue to do this, no matter what market they are in.They already sell over the counter medicine on their website and could sell it in their new stores. Although it may be too early to speculate, it is still quite a possibility. When it comes to pharmaceutical needs, most customers will often stay with the store they are most familiar with. Amazon does still have the potential to become one of the biggest prescription drug providers in the current market. One advantage that CVS has over Amazon is their large amount of brick and mortar stores across the U.S. Consumers can walk right into one of these pharmacies and pick up their drugs on their own time. People often assume competition is good for business because it drives a store to pick up the pace. Stores like CVS should not be worried before anything is officially announced. A online giant like Amazon probably would not need to enter the healthcare business just to make a few extra bucks. Fortunately, the company has more important things to worry about like what products they should sell at Whole Foods Markets. Bringing together two health professionals like CVS and Aetna makes sense in the long run, and Amazon most likely will not be a threat for quite some time.

  23. Kunj Darji February 2, 2018 at 7:15 pm #

    The latest category alarmed by the spectre 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.
    The healthcare industry is worried about Amazon.
    Why wouldn’t they be? Starting with booksellers in the 1990’s, Amazon has taken on new industries time and time again, leading to upheavals in those industries. Their relentless focus on the consumer, as illustrated by convenience and lower prices, is greatly aided by their constant innovation and clever use of technology.
    Health care is one of the latest industries rumored to be in their cross-hairs. They already sell some medical products in their marketplace, but there is much talk about them getting into pharmacy. Or maybe pharmacy benefits management. Or perhaps some twist we haven’t thought up, but Amazon has. No one in healthcare should be ignoring what Amazon might be up to.
    Wholesale licenses are required for Amazon Business to sell professional-use only medical devices in certain states,” she said. There is little doubt, though, that Amazon is interested in at least some aspects of the pharmacy business. Some said they expect that if Amazon chooses to enter the healthcare business, it would do so in a big way. If Amazon decides to enter the market, it could take a variety of avenues, analysts said.

  24. Bhumi Patel February 2, 2018 at 7:34 pm #

    As Amazon continues to dominate the business industry, it is not surprising that the company seeks an interest in the pharmaceutical sector. A large part of health care industry is the delivery and satisfaction of care. Since Amazon has a strong background in delivery and customer satisfaction, entering the health sector would not be challenging for the company. The article mentions, “The likelihood of Amazon’s eventually getting into the pharmacy business is high…”. In addition, with the acquisition of Whole Foods, Amazon has proved that the company would go to any extent to excel in every possible aspect.

    In the article, Brittain Ladd, a supply chain consultant and a former employee of Amazon states,” …there was a sincere desire on the part of Amazon to create a better customer experience across pharmacy and health care as a whole…”. He also mentions that pharmaceutical companies should not take Amazon lightly. By entering in the health care sector, Amazon can have positive impact on the delivery and cost of care that patients receive. The article suggests a mail-order pharmacy that would focus on price for those who are uninsured or have high-deductible plans. This can be easily implemented since the company already has wholesale pharmaceutical licenses in many states across the nation. Additionally, if Amazon obtains licenses for every state in the country, delivery of medical services would improve which result in greater satisfaction of customers. Not only would this benefit the economy as a whole but it would also, “revolutionize how health care is delivered”.

    Furthermore, in the article, Ms. Rosier states, “health care is complicated and there would be intense pressure to get it right”. Amazon is already a highly diversified company in itself which attracts most of its customers. If the company starts providing medical services and products it can expand their customer base even more which can improve customer satisfaction and provide a greater demand for utilizing the company’s services. With high expectations of many in both the business and health care industry, there is no doubt that Amazon would not be able to tackle any challenges that would come in its way.

  25. Nathaniel Valyo February 2, 2018 at 7:59 pm #

    Amazon wants to sell everything, to everyone. The e-commerce giant’s rollercoaster ride in the past few years has been unpredictable, entertaining, and scary if you are a competitor. They recently acquired Whole Foods, a leader in the grocery industry, and pharmacies fear that they will be the next victims of Amazon’s fight to become the leader in all industries. An industry like health care, which has recently come under fire for being frustratingly inefficient for consumers, could be very attractive to Amazon. Recently, CVS Health purchased the major health care company Aetna, presumably out of fear over what Amazon will soon do to take control of the industry.

    Amazon would have to jump through major hurdles to enter the industry, however. They would be required to obtain retail pharmacy licenses in each state, and they would not be able to complete this task easily without the help of a partnership with a pre-existing pharmacy company. But given Amazon’s recent success in revolutionizing the book and grocery businesses, it does not seem like there is any challenge too great for Amazon to overcome. They have already acquired retail licenses in at least a dozen states. While success is not guaranteed for Amazon, they are undoubtedly making the attempt to leave a significant impact on the industry. Companies like CVS, Rite Aid, and Walgreens may soon become irrelevant.

    A greater issue than the pharmacy business potentially falling victim to Amazon, however, is that Amazon is showing serious signs of turning into a monopoly. They want to be the place where everyone goes for all of their wants and needs, which puts all other competitors out of business. It is possible that the government could intervene and block a potential Amazon merger with another health care company, or maybe pass regulations to prohibit Amazon from making a sizable dent in the industry.

    Amazon’s recent endeavor in picking a city to be home to the company’s new HQ2 shows just how full of pride they are, because instead of just simply picking a city, they narrowed it down to a list of twenty cities, and now each lucky city gets to woo Amazon with tax incentives and perks no other company would receive. This, along with Amazon’s attempt to put a stranglehold on the health care market, emphasize how hungry for power their executives truly are. Perhaps Amazon’s greed will come back to haunt them one day, but not any time soon.

  26. Frank Mabalatan February 2, 2018 at 8:19 pm #

    Healthcare is a basic human right and the United States government has not taken action to guarantee this right to its citizenry. The enactment of the Affordable Care Act under President Obama in 2010 was a substantial step towards a system of universal healthcare, though it was an imperfect statute. What is telling about American government is the unwillingness to improve upon the act towards a better version of universal healthcare, and instead mount a fervent campaign purposed to undo all progress made by the ACA. President Trump’s 2017 executive order circumvents the legislative process and destabilizes the healthcare market by luring young Americans from ACA health plans for cheaper and less comprehensive plans that will result in skyrocketing premiums for sicker patients. This executive order values money over the right of proper healthcare and the American public has taken notice.
    On January 30, 2018, Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JP Morgan Chase announced they will be partner together to create an independent company to control the costs of healthcare for their US employees in an interesting update to Nick Wingfield and Katie Thomas’s New York Times story. The healthcare market is in dire need of a major shake-up for prices to stabilize and be more accessible to the American public. While this is a mostly positive development, it does not address the issue of coverage for the poor. Such a conglomerate will work for those who are fortunate enough to be able to afford healthcare already, but I am firmly of the opinion that the government has an obligation to provide proper healthcare for the poor. I find it to be very unlikely that for-profit companies will be open to aiding the poor with healthcare available to the lowest class of Americans. With the plans of Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JP Morgan Chase unclear, it will be of note how their new company will address this issue.

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  27. Adam Facella February 2, 2018 at 8:35 pm #

    Amazon beginning to sell drugs would not be surprising to anyone. In fact, I am surprised that they have not begun to sell drugs sooner. With Amazon selling practically everything now, I am surprised that you weren’t able to go online and get your drugs shipped to you from your home without having to go to a pharmacy at all. I think this would end the need for companies like Rite-Aid, Wallgreen’s, or CVS. But, I understand that it would cause the company to spend a lot of money on getting the license in every state. If they began to sell prescription drugs and having their own doctors, this would change the medical field completely.

    Not only does Amazon have the capabilities to sell prescription drugs, I think that their capabilities can go to selling both lottery tickets and alcohol. If you were to put in the information to prove that you were of age to being the products I think that it would be a high possibility for Amazon to begin to do it. Selling lottery tickets would begin to shut down convenient stores, if people were able to get their tickets directly in their computer without having to leave their home.

    But, with these factors, there would be repercussions for the company, like causing a lot of unemployment throughout the country. There would be no more need for pharmacists or small stores. Also, with this, Amazon would begin to become a monopoly and then violate other codes of conduct. There is no way that Amazon would be able to let this happen because it would put too many others out of business. I think that if they were to add a pharmacy department, it would be fine though because many other stores like Wall-Mart and Target are already adding these departments as well. Overall, it would help the lower-income families as Wingfield and Thomas bring up because then they would have access to an affordable place to get generic prescription drugs.

  28. Luis F Gonzalez Jr February 8, 2018 at 8:22 pm #

    Amazon has already entered the health care industry and is being noticed internationally by multiple huge conglomerates. Not only are they acquiring wholesale pharmacy licenses but they are investing huge amount of resources into their A.I technology. This is very beneficial to Amazon and would expand, yet again, their company into more markets. By becoming involved in the distribution and selling of drugs, it would weaken or eliminate certain markets as well make the insurance industry more competitive in their value and price of their services. Lastly, this could have an impact, if done successfully, on society and could benefit millions of low to middle income families in the United States if they go beyond the realm of employee benefits and into public services. Amazon’s advent in the health care industry will be highly influenced by how their Chinese competitors, Alibaba and Tencent, create and service their products. Initially, Amazon will try to create a better health care system able to “provide simplified, affordable medical service” for their employers in the near future.

    First thing first, by Amazon acquiring the wholesale pharmacy licenses in multiple states, they could essentially wipe out any CVS, Rite Aid, etc. company out of the market. They have more monetary power and a comparative advantage in distributions, marketability, and audience. It would create a monopoly in a way by how much of an advantage they would have over other companies. They could offer cheaper prices and faster shipping. Most likely, Amazon would buy one of these companies and incorporate certain “Amazon” procedures and let it run on its own. Also, the way they would run the selling and distribution of the prescription drugs would take on a transformation. Amazon has a big market in online selling and would incorporate most of their sells through an online platform. It would create a more efficient and effective process for doctors and pharmaceuticals.

    By offering faster shipment of prescription drugs and offering better health care services, they will increase competiveness within the health care insurance industry. More will be expected from insurance companies and would need to keep up with the lower prices and services offered. The industry would change by making medical procedures more effective and accurate, reducing costs of surgery and less profit for the insurance companies. It would essentially weaken the incorporated system all insurances have and would become the main figure involved within the health insurance industry since Amazon has more financial stability than these insurance companies because of their multiple capital influxes.

    An important factor in all this is the investment and advancement of their A.I. technology. Amazon’s advent for better health service and unprecedented technological advancements within the medical world are major game changers. Some of the technology spoken about in the article are: A.I. software helping interpret CT scans, A.I. medical labs helping doctor’s makes diagnoses and other medical programs making the doctor’s job easier and more effective. Amazon’s intentions are perspicuous, “we welcome technology if it can relieve the pressure while boosting efficiency and accuracy.” This could potentially introduce Amazon into the hospital industry if they see tremendous profitable gains as a possibility. Not only would they better health care but could become a major figure within the medical technological industry.

    If all turns out successful and the economy remains strong, Amazon could accomplish the conservative dream of businesses handling social issues and supplying public services. Of course, it would have a cost, probably a small fee, but it could supply most low to middle income families with a more affordable plan and superior service. Essentially, it could carry out plans to help fix public issues and become a leader for societal greatness.
    In conclusion, Amazon is making huge strides within the health care industry and is heading in the correct path to economic profit and majority control of most industries in which their technological advances and licenses fall under.


  29. Sophia Fadgen February 23, 2018 at 4:39 pm #

    Amazon is a powerful business that has all the means to provide customers with any product imaginable. It is because of this that it is not surprising that Amazon is looking to now take over the healthcare markets, as they did with the grocery and home improvement markets. Although, as a competitor, companies such as Aetna and CVS should be concerned and it is a good thing they have begun planning to work together. Having two of the largest companies in healthcare work together would most definitely lessen the impact that Amazon may take on each company.
    Despite Amazons large consumer pool that has already been established over the years of business, I believe Amazon should take its time with entering the pharmaceutical markets. This is because Amazon will be facing against other large and competitive companies that have much more experience in this field that Amazon. I believe that Amazon should also take their time in forming a plan of action to include exactly how they will provide the necessary products since pharmaceutical products are often needed urgently and properly. Amazon should also take the time to organize the permits in which they are allowed to sell and where. For example, in some states, Amazon has only been granted permission to sell medical devices rather than actual medication (Wingfield and Thomas, para. 4).
    A combination of my personal experience and the knowledge gained through the information stated in this article, I believe that Amazon could be very successful in their introduction to healthcare and pharmaceuticals. I believe this because for every market their goal has been to “be earth’s most customer-centric company,” and they have been just that since the beginning (Amazon). In addition, as I said earlier, Amazon has the means to market anything with its wide consumer base across the nation and even internationally. Although it would take some time for Amazon to acquire the proper licensing and such, I would not be surprised when they introduce their new market of pharmaceutical and healthcare products.

  30. Caroline Jean Philippe March 2, 2018 at 8:49 pm #

    Amazon seems to be the great opportunist of this day and age. Their company has their hands in a lot of businesses. Lately there has been talk about Amazon having some place in the health care industry. The health care industry is very big and profitable so I could see why some people would think this. Amazon is expanding its horizons so that it can make more profit. They became associated with whole foods because they are a brand that has a bright future and because they have potential for expanding.

  31. RJC-Rider October 16, 2018 at 10:54 am #

    The pharmaceutical world is one that is plagued with inefficiencies and high costs. Drug research and development, patents, and clinical trials contribute significantly to these high costs; these high costs are difficult to avoid without skimping out on safety of drug testing. Where there is an opportunity to cut costs would be in the supply chain aspect of the industry. Typically, once a drug company makes it through the 4 stages of clinical trials and is allowed by the FDA to go to market, there are multiple steps taken before the drug makes it to the consumer. Once it is manufactured, the drugs are typically in large and not useful containers for distribution to pharmacy stores like CVS. The large packages of drugs can then go through a number of middlemen with wholesaling and packaging down until finally they arrive at a retail store for the customer of interest. This process is fraught with inefficiencies and excessive costs.
    Recognizing that there is an opportunity to reduce costs is where Amazon can really make a difference. The specific area to reduce costs would be in elimination of inefficiencies in the supply chain as well as elimination of the need for fixed cost overhead retail spaces. Amazon has probably one of the best supply chains and distribution strategies in the world, rivaled well by Walmart. As a company, Amazon could eliminate multiple middlemen effectively lower the costs of distribution. Amazon would also not operate in this case with brick and mortar stores which would reduce fixed expenses like utilities, retail employees, and rent. (however Amazon is trying out retail stores in which case the drugs could go into without having to build a store to accommodate this idea). I agree with the article that Amazons movement into the market will disrupt the industry and make existing companies nervous. However, I think this move will be for the better and provide less expensive drugs in an industry with ever growing costs.

  32. Allegra D October 22, 2018 at 9:16 pm #

    Amazon is a growing company that has taken over many industries, pharmaceuticals and healthcare are next on their list. With the power of Amazon’s fast service and that fact that thousands of people use it everyday, they are well known and trusted brand. It can not be certain that enough people willingly switch their pharmaceutical company to Amazon without focus groups and studies, but I believe that they decide to enter into this market, they will give other pharmacies a run for their money. Because Amazon already has a few brick and mortar stores, with the intentions of expanding and storefront at all WholeFoods locations, they have a great foundation for starting up. The only problem Amazon faces is getting all of the details right because they are new to this market and because it is such an important and touchy market.
    Fellow blogger Matt R states that although Amazon is the biggest company right now, acquiring pharmacies like Walgreens and CVS and entering the pharmaceutical industry would be too complicated for them, I disagree. Amazon is such a big company, so they have the ability to hire a whole staff of people with knowledge of the pharmaceutical industry and healthcare industry. Professionals will run to Amazon to get a job from them especially since they have the opportunity to start something new and revolutionary in these markets. Not only will Amazon be simplifying this market for people and reducing prices, they will be creating new jobs. Amazon is doing great things with the job market from raising minimum wage to fifteen dollars and having the potential for future job openings.
    According to an article in the New York Times, Amazon, JPMorgan, and Berkshire are creating a health care company that is free from profit making incentives. This article states that these three business giants understand that healthcare is expensive and confusing for the average person and they want to help with that. The idea of this company is to provide everyone with lists of all healthcare providers and their prices to help customers determine the best option for them. I believe that this will cut prices because companies will be in direct competition with each other. If this idea can be executed, then Americans will struggle less with healthcare and pharmaceuticals which will bring them peace of mind. I think Amazon entering this market is a good thing for everyone.


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