By David Meyer
October 27, 2017

The idea that Amazon might dive into the pharmacy business has received a lot of buzz recently, with Morgan Stanley earlier this month issuing a note that explained why this would be a good thing for the company.

Now there’s more evidence that Amazon is tip-toeing into this field in some capacity, though it still remains unclear what it wants to do precisely.

On Friday, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, citing public records, reported that Amazon has in the last year quietly won regulatory approval from multiple states to become a wholesale pharmaceutical distributor.

The states include Nevada, Arizona, Idaho, Louisiana, North Dakota, Alabama, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Michigan, Connecticut, Tennessee and Oregon. According to the Post-Dispatch, Maine’s state pharmaceutical board is currently considering Amazon’s application.

However, as the paper noted, this doesn’t necessarily mean Amazon will be able to send consumers prescription drugs and devices; it still doesn’t have the pharmacy licenses it would need to do that.

Amazon itself declined to comment, but Leerink Partners analyst Ana Gupte told the Post-Dispatch that the revelation at least shores up the understanding that Amazon is planning an “entry into the drug supply chain,” whether that means getting into the prescription pharmacy business itself or partnering with such a company.

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