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Amazon Eyes Pharmacies In Latest Move

The previous week has been good for shareholders of pharmacies such as CVS and Walgreens following vaccine data from Pfizer and Moderna. The two stand to benefit if and when a vaccine comes to market and have already struck a deal with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control to administer the vaccine at long-term care facilities.

With shares of CVS and Walgreens each having gained about 30% so far for the month through Monday, Amazon sent them crashing down yesterday with one press release.

Amazon announced two new pharmacy offerings as it eyes pharmacies as the next sector to go after. Amazon has been eyeing the space for a few years following its nearly $1 billion acquisition of PillPack in 2018.

Amazon Pharmacy will let customers order their prescription medicines from Amazon and have them delivered to their homes, with Prime Members getting free two-day delivery. Users can create a secure pharmacy profile that stores insurance and prescription information. Amazon Pharmacy will be available in every state except for Hawaii, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana and Minnesota.

"We designed Amazon Pharmacy to put customers first – bringing Amazon's customer obsession to an industry that can be inconvenient and confusing," Amazon Pharmacy Vice President and PillPack co-founder TJ Parker said. "We work hard behind the scenes to handle complications seamlessly so anyone who needs a prescription can understand their options, place their order for the lowest available price, and have their medication delivered quickly."

Amazon also announced Prime members can save on medications through Amazon Pharmacy when purchasing without insurance, with more than 50,000 other participating pharmacies in the U.S. offering savings as well. Prime members can save up to 80% off generic and 40% off brand name medications when purchasing without insurance.

The move by Amazon makes sense as the company continues to leverage its size to offer consumers the ability to buy virtually everything. The move also means Amazon is entering another market where rivals Walmart and Target have long had a presence.

"As more and more people look to complete everyday errands from home, pharmacy is an important and needed addition to the Amazon online store,” Amazon Senior Vice President of North American Consumer Doug Herrington said.

With a CVS and Walgreens on virtually every corner, it makes sense Amazon has its eyes on them as it continues to expand its reach.

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