Amazon launches online pharmacy, challenges traditional retailers

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Amazon has eyed the health care industry for some time (File Photo).

Retail colossus Amazon opened an online pharmacy Tuesday, allowing customers to order medication or prescription refills, and have them delivered to their front door in a couple of days.

The potential impact of Amazon’s arrival in the pharmaceutical space rippled through that sector immediately. The stocks of big healthcare companies like CVS Health Corp., Walgreens, and Rite Aid all tumbled Tuesday.

These chains rely on their pharmacies for a steady flow of shoppers and all have upped online services and as the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed more consumers to stay home.

Amazon said its online pharmacy will accept most insurance. It will offer commonly prescribed medications in the US, including creams, pills, as well as medications that need to stay refrigerated, like insulin. Amazon added that it won’t ship medications that have a high risk of being abused, like some opioids.

 

(Israel Hayom).

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