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MarketScreener Homepage  >  Equities  >  Nasdaq  >  Amazon.com, Inc.    AMZN


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Amazon launches online pharmacy in new contest with drug retail

11/17/2020 | 01:36pm EST
Still image from video of a person with bottles of medication with branding for Amazon Pharmacy

(Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc on Tuesday launched an online pharmacy for delivering prescription medications in the United States, increasing competition with drug retailers such as Walgreens, CVS Health and Walmart.

Called Amazon Pharmacy, the new store lets customers price-compare as they buy drugs on the company's website or app. Shoppers can toggle at checkout between their co-pay and a non-insurance option, heavily discounted for members of its loyalty club Prime.

The move builds on the web retailer's 2018 acquisition of PillPack, which Amazon said will remain separate for customers needing pre-sorted doses of multiple drugs.

Shares of pharmacy chains, drug wholesalers and grocers fell in afternoon trading. Amazon's shares were up nearly 1%.

Over the past two years, Amazon has worked to secure more state licenses for shipping prescriptions across the country, which had been an obstacle to its expansion into the drug supply chain, according to analyst notes from Jefferies Equity Research.

The company founded as an online bookseller has disrupted industries including retail, computing and now potentially pharmaceuticals, drawing criticism of its size and power from labor groups and lawmakers along the way.

TJ Parker, PillPack's CEO and vice president of Amazon Pharmacy, said in a statement the retailer aimed to bring "customer obsession to an industry that can be inconvenient and confusing."

The company faces entrenched competition from Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc, CVS Health Corp, Walmart Inc, Rite Aid Corp, Kroger Co and others. Take-up of online ordering of drugs has been low, according to market research from J.D. Power.

"Amazon's launch of an online pharmacy is a meaningful threat to brick and mortar pharmacies," Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management professor Craig Garthwaite said.

"These retail pharmacies must now offer more than just easy access to a prescription."

Shares of Walgreens Boots Alliance, Rite Aid and CVS tumbled between 8% and 15%, while those of drug distributors McKesson Corp, Cardinal Health Inc and AmerisourceBergen Corp were down 3% to 7%.

Amazon injects a new look and feel into a space that has been dominated by a few large mail order pharmacies like CVS, Cigna Corp and UnitedHealth's Optum, analysts from brokerage Evercore ISI said in a note.

"New entrants to the highly competitive pharmacy market come as no surprise to us," CVS Health said in a statement. "While pharmacy is a core component of our business, CVS Health is so much more than your corner drug store."

Walgreens said in a statement it already provides a full and growing range of pharmacy, health and wellness solutions to its customers and patients, and offers free same-day and next-day delivery options.

Should Prime members prefer buying in person, Amazon said its discounts on non-insurance purchases apply at more than 50,000 brick-and-mortar pharmacies - including those run by rivals. Inside Rx, a subsidiary of Cigna's Evernorth, administers that benefit, Amazon said.

Still, the pandemic may help bring drug orders online. E-commerce has surged this year as governments told people to stay home to stave off infections of COVID-19, and Prime members - more than 150 million globally - may be receptive to buying medication online now that it's from Amazon.

The company said Prime subscribers get up to 80% off generic and up to 40% off brand drugs when they pay without insurance, as well as two-day delivery.

Amazon's online pharmacy is not yet available in Illinois, Minnesota, Louisiana, Kentucky, and Hawaii, a spokeswoman said.

(Reporting By Jeffrey Dastin in San Francisco, Caroline Humer in New York, Manojna Maddipatla and Ankur Banerjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Lincoln Feast, Sriraj Kalluvila and Shailesh Kuber)

By Jeffrey Dastin and Ankur Banerjee

© Reuters 2020
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
AMAZON.COM, INC. 0.98% 3326.13 Delayed Quote.1.14%
AMERISOURCEBERGEN CORPORATION 1.84% 108.84 Delayed Quote.10.23%
CARDINAL HEALTH, INC. 0.82% 55.48 Delayed Quote.3.42%
CIGNA CORPORATION -1.97% 215.76 Delayed Quote.5.72%
CVS HEALTH CORPORATION 1.39% 74.23 Delayed Quote.7.19%
EVERCORE INC. -3.33% 109.23 Delayed Quote.3.06%
KROGER 7.23% 37.07 Delayed Quote.8.85%
MCKESSON CORPORATION 0.69% 184.42 Delayed Quote.5.31%
RITE AID CORPORATION 9.09% 23.64 Delayed Quote.36.89%
WALGREENS BOOTS ALLIANCE, INC. 2.86% 49.19 Delayed Quote.18.98%
WALMART INC. 0.90% 147.51 Delayed Quote.1.42%
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Financials (USD)
Sales 2020 380 B - -
Net income 2020 18 146 M - -
Net cash 2020 44 304 M - -
P/E ratio 2020 94,7x
Yield 2020 -
Capitalization 1 653 B 1 653 B -
EV / Sales 2020 4,23x
EV / Sales 2021 3,53x
Nbr of Employees 798 000
Free-Float 81,7%
Duration : Period :
Amazon.com, Inc. Technical Analysis Chart | MarketScreener
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Technical analysis trends AMAZON.COM, INC.
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Income Statement Evolution
Mean consensus BUY
Number of Analysts 52
Average target price 3 840,89 $
Last Close Price 3 294,00 $
Spread / Highest target 36,6%
Spread / Average Target 16,6%
Spread / Lowest Target 6,25%
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Jeffrey P. Bezos Chairman, President & Chief Executive Officer
Brian T. Olsavsky Chief Financial Officer & Senior Vice President
Patricia Q. Stonesifer Independent Director
Thomas O. Ryder Independent Director
Jonathan Jake Rubinstein Lead Independent Director
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