Amazon is planning to launch physical pharmacy stores in the US in its latest push into bricks-and-mortar retail, sending shares in rival pharmacies tumbling.
Walgreens Boots Alliance, Rite Aid and CVS Health have all seen their shares drop by around four per cent following reports that Amazon could soon expand its fledgling pharmacy service offline.
According to Business Insider, three anonymous sources familiar with the matter have suggested that talks are in the exploratory phase and that a roll out could be over a year away.
It would mark Amazon’s latest push into both the pharmacy market and physical retail, after launching four Amazon Fresh grocery stores in the UK in quick succession this year.
In November last year, Amazon launched a new online pharmacy service offering up to 80 per cent discounts for Prime subscribers.
The move sought to capitalise on the ongoing healthcare crisis in the US, offering subscribers without health insurances huge discounts on both generic and branded drugs.
Amazon’s launch into the $4 trillion US pharmaceuticals space had a dramatic effect on the market, seeing shares in the country’s leading retailers fall significantly once again.
The online retail giant has had its sights set on the market for some time, having purchased mail-order pharmacy PillPack for $750 million in 2018, followed by the launch of its own branded drugs last year.
While Amazon Pharmacy is only available in the US for now, its likely the service will be rolled out internationally soon as Amazon tries to cash in on the online pharmacy market, set to be worth $131 billion worldwide by 2025.