Amazon ventures into the online pharma game

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November 18, 2020, 10:00 AM UTC

This will put the ecommerce giant into more direct competition with pharmacy giants CVS Health and Walgreens Boots Alliance.

The Seattle-based ecommerce giant will let people digitally order prescription drugs and pay through their health insurance with the launch of the new vertical in the US. Additionally, Amazon Prime members who would not use their insurance would be eligible for discounts on both generic and branded drugs. 

Amazon's move comes amid consumers avoiding physical stores and ordering more items online due to the pandemic. "We designed Amazon Pharmacy to put customers first…," Amazon Pharmacy's VP, TJ Parker, said.

The tech giant's foray into the US drug sector sent shockwaves through the stock market with drugstore chains and distributors seeing their share prices suffer. CVS shares fell nearly 8.5% in early trading in New York, while shares of Walgreens Boots dropped around 10.3%.

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