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Who’s Afraid of Amazon in Digital Health?⁠⁠⁠—Brainstorm Health

June 21, 2019, 8:20 PM UTC

Happy Friday, readers!

Those concerns always made sense in a theoretical kind of way (Amazon is, after all, the Killer of Industries, from retail to cloud storage to the logistics sector).

But documents unveiled as part of a lawsuit between CVS and a former employee who absconded to the Amazon-purchased PillPack pharmacy delivery business provide more details on exactly what’s driving the angst.

More details below. Read on for the day’s news, and have a wonderful weekend.

Sy Mukherjee


Lawsuit docs provide a glimpse into health care's Amazon anxiety. About that aforementioned CVS lawsuit and what it says about Amazon: "Our review of documents related to a case filed by CVS - which seeks to prevent a former CVS executive from joining PillPack - shows that Amazon is seeking to develop a service offering that would bypass PBMs [pharmacy benefit managers] and contract directly with payers," analysts from Jeffries wrote, according to The Street. The nightmare scenario for existing health giants is any entity that cuts into the lucrative employer health care space, especially via direct negotiations with major insurers. It appears this may be exactly what Amazon is planning (although the extent of possible services is still fuzzy). (The Street)


Addyi 2.0? Addyi, the women's libido treatment consistently mislabeled as a "female Viagra," has elicited plenty of controversy. Its safety and efficacy was questioned by experts when approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA); its sales have... not been great, though they've improved substantially in the past few months in part thanks to new online sexual health product distributors. But regulators are now set to decide on another female libido drug that could also prove controversial. Amag Pharmaceuticals' Vyleesi, unlike Sprout Pharma's Addyi, comes in a shot rather than a pill, and potentially harbors less side effects. Its potential in the market remains an open question. (Bloomberg)


Missouri's last abortion clinic may shut down. Missouri health officials are inviting a major legal brouhaha after effectively ordering the state's lone, existing abortion clinic to shut down. The clinic will remain open on a temporary basis thanks to a judge's injunction; a more lasting decision may come in the next few days. But if Missouri succeeds in refusing the clinic's application for renewal, it would become the first state in the U.S. with zero abortion clinics. (Reuters)


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Produced by Sy Mukherjee
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