More evidence emerges for Amazon’s push into pharmacy industry – CNET


Is selling prescription drugs Amazon’s next move?

Ben Fox Rubin/CNET

New evidence emerged Friday that Amazon may have its sights set on the drug industry. 

According to public records dug up by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Amazon has obtained approval to be a wholesale distributor of pharmaceuticals in 12 states: Alabama, Arizona, Connecticut, Idaho, Louisiana, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Dakota, Oregon and Tennessee. There is also a pending application for the state of Maine.

In early October, Wall Street analysts began predicting that Amazon was looking to enter the healthcare and pharmacy business. Amazon did not confirm this speculation, and no one knows exactly what capacity its participation in the industry could entail.

For now, this may only imply Amazon is interested in joining the drug supply chain, and does not mean it has full rein to directly sell drugs to customers, for which it would need a pharmacy license. 

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In addition, certain states require wholesale licenses from retailers in order to sell professional-use medical devices, something Amazon already does through its healthcare product portal. These filings can be unrelated to the selling of prescription drugs.

An Amazon spokesperson said the company does not comment “on rumors or speculation.”

If its end goal is to be able to sell prescription drugs, it still has a lot of regulatory hoops to jump through. It’s also unclear if the company will partner with an existing third-party pharmaceutical management company or develop those capabilities in-house.

Aside from making moves in the healthcare industry, Amazon is adding new changes to its delivery methods. On Wednesday, it introduced Amazon Key, which allows Prime members to unlock their front doors and allow a delivery worker to place packages inside customers’ homes and apartments. 

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