Amazon launches the large ‘online’ pharmacy and unleashes fear in drug distribution chains

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The technology creates a division that will dispatch drugs with discounts of up to 80% in generics in the US

The irruption of Amazon in the pharmacy business with a specific commercial division has turned a lucrative sector upside down that, like healthcare, in the United States is in the hands of the market: a large percentage of television advertisements are offers medicine and health insurance. The announcement, this Tuesday, that the platform will allow subscribers to the Premium service to buy prescription drugs and receive them at home for free, caused a sharp drop in the shares of the country’s large pharmacy chains, such as CVS, Walgreen or Rite Aid, with losses of between 7% the first and 14% of the last. Amazon, on the other hand, rose just over one point in the Nasdaq index of the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday.

The pharmacy business annually moves 300,000 million dollars (about 253,000 million euros) in the US Two years ago Amazon bought the pharmacy for 750 million online PillPack, with serious setbacks in the Stock Market of the traditional local chains, such as the three mentioned. A year after Amazon’s acquisition of PillPack, Walgreen signed a seven-year collaboration agreement with Microsoft.

The new service offered by Jeff Bezos’ company is a pharmacy online in which users can create a secure profile in which to receive the prescriptions prescribed by the specialists, enter their health coverage data and directly buy the drugs to receive them at home, which also raises certain doubts about the treatment of the confidential data from medical records. “Putting customers first” is the purpose of the new Amazon division, TJ Parker stated in a statement, number two de Amazon Pharmacy.

The technology company assures that it will accept most of the medical insurance, and those who do not have health coverage will be able, through the preferential modality, to acquire products with discounts negotiated by the company itself. The reduction in the retail price of drugs may reach up to 80% in the case of generics and 40% in the rest, and will also be accessible in 50,000 physical establishments of other pharmacy chains, the technology company has reported . “Anyone who needs a prescription can better understand their options, order at the lowest available price and receive their medication quickly,” Parker noted, with free 48-hour shipping to subscribers. premium.

The limitation of movements imposed by the coronavirus crisis has increased the volume of users who prefer to receive medicines by mail or at their own door, according to data handled by local media such as CNBC. Amazon has indicated that it will distribute all kinds of drugs, with the exception of most opiates, prescribed as painkillers and responsible for a health crisis of addictions and deaths from overdoses unparalleled in the world.

Apart from the small dispensaries of prescription drugs, which occupy an infinitesimal part of the premises, the large pharmacies in the United States, which also sell prepared food, flowers, beauty, hygiene and drugstore products and even clothing or travel accessories, They offer a vast range of over-the-counter remedies beyond those of any drug store, which, in line with drug advertisements on television, explains both the volume and appeal of the business even for giants like Amazon.

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