Seattle's Amazon opens online pharmacy in challenge to traditional retailers

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Seattle's Amazon opens online pharmacy in challenge to traditional retailers

On Tuesday, Inc., the Seattle, Washington-headquartered world’s largest online retailing industry colossus, had rolled out an online pharmacy which would enable its customers to order over-the-counter medications alongside prescription drugs and to receive them from their front doors in less than 48 hours, pointing towards a landmark move from the Amazon chief Jeff Bezos, 56, the world’s richest man to date having a net worth of $182.7 billion, that would likely to send shockwave into the global online pharmacy market.

On top of that, frets of potential impact of Inc.’s arrival into the pharmaceutical industry, had immediately raised an alarming bell for a swathe of online distributors of medicines such as CVS Health Corp., Walgreens and Rite Aid, while NYSE-listed shares’ prices of CVS Health, the 57-year-old American healthcare giant based on Massachusetts, tumbled as much as 8.59 per cent to wind down the day at $67.14 per share.

Besides, Nasdaq-listed stocks of Illinois-based pharmaceutical wholesale distributor, Walgreens Boots Alliance wrapped up the day almost 10 per cent lower to $39.86 apiece, while Rite Aid, an American chain of pharmacies headquartered in Pennsylvania, had wiped out as much as a sixth of its market cap to round off the day at $10.84 per share.

Amazon rolls out pharmacies as drug distribution networks in jeopardy

In actuality, the deep-pocket Seattle retailer became a threat to several online shipping companies since its launch back in the 1995s as an online bookseller, while its recent move had signalled a potential drawdown for a number of online and brick-and-mortar pharmacy chains across the globe, suggested analysts.

Concomitantly, while Inc. was quoted saying in a statement on Tuesday that its online pharmacy would offer commonly prescribed medications in the United States alongside other medicines such as insulin, addressing to the risks of a potential disruption in the drug retailing networks, analysts at Citi wrote in a client note following Inc.

announcement, “The news represents a disruption to the system and competitive threat that will likely shift scripts away from the retail channel.