We have been following Amazon in its attempts to enter the pharmaceutical market. See related blog posts:
Amazon-PillPack deal – a pharmacy shakeout?
Why Amazon shelved its plan to enter the pharmaceutical distribution chain.
Is Amazon ready to enter pharmacy business?
This month, Amazon made headlines when it announced its 6-month prescription plan starting at $6 (for maintenance medications). Customers can pay as low as $1 per month for some medications, including diabetic and blood pressure drugs, with free 2-day delivery. This is a real industry shaker.
Since its acquisition of PillPack, Amazon has been making gradual steps towards acquiring a larger chunk of pharmaceutical business by making medications more affordable and delivery faster. But what does this mean for independent community pharmacies who simply cannot compete with Amazon? As many pharmacies are realizing, it is difficult to make profits on maintenance medications. More and more pharmacies are turning into closed door, long term care, or specialty pharmacies (or selling files and closing its doors).
Many chain pharmacies are also affected by this move. For example, Walgreens announced that it will launch its own prescription savings program for its members.