Amazon.com (AMZN) Buys PillPack: No Clear Winner, One Very Clear Loser

Amazon's newest move into the online pharmacy business will have significant ripple effects

West Palm Beach, USA - June 30, 2016: Amazon packing tape on Amazon.com shipping boxes. One box is taped with Amazon Prime tape and the other has Amazon with the smiling arrow design.
(Image credit: NoDerog)

Any doubt that e-commerce giant Amazon.com (AMZN, $1,701.45) was serious about getting into the pharmacy business was wiped away Thursday, June 28. That’s when Amazon announced it is buying mail-order/online pharmacy PillPack.

PillPack, which bills itself as a “new kind of pharmacy,” doesn’t appear much different than any other online pharmacy at first blush. Prescription submissions are handled online, and the company works with caregivers and insurers, making for a mostly seamless experience. But PillPack stands out in one simple way that is indeed Amazon-like. The company repackages and prepackages medications by the day, allowing users to open just one daily package that may contain several different medicines. Users find this approach much easier to manage, allowing them to take the right pills at the right time.

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James Brumley
Contributing Writer, Kiplinger.com
James Brumley is a former stock broker, registered investment adviser and Director of Research for an options-focused newsletter. He's now primarily a freelance writer, tapping more than a decade's worth of broad experience to help investors get more out of the market. With a background in technical analysis as well as fundamental analysis, James touts stock-picking strategies that combine the importance of company performance with the power of stock-trade timing. He believes this dual approach is the only way an investor has a shot at consistently beating the market. James' work has appeared at several websites including Street Authority, Motley Fool, Kapitall and Investopedia. When not writing as a journalist, James works on his book explaining his multi-pronged approach to investing.