Amazon acquires online pharmacy PillPack, reports peg deal at almost $1B


The internet giant said on Thursday it would buy online pharmacy PillPack, a small but significant step into the US healthcare sector.

"PillPack's visionary team has a combination of deep pharmacy experience and a focus on technology", Jeff Wilke, Amazon CEO Worldwide Consumer, said in a statement.

The company, which has its primary pharmacy in Manchester, New Hampshire, ships to all states except Hawaii.

Founded out of Boston in 2013, PillPack invites customers to sign up online, and the company then dispatches "over-the-counter" and prescription medications in individual packs organized by date and time.

Parker grew up behind the counter of his father's drug store in Concord, N.H., and has spoken of his exasperation seeing customers resort to spreadsheets to figure out how to schedule and sort their medications.

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A PillPack spokesperson said the deal won't have any impact on the Somerville workforce.

Amazon and PillPack said they expected to close the deal by the end of the year, subject to regulatory approval.

The move represents a formidable threat to pharmacy chains including Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc., which earlier Wednesday reported tepid US same-store sales, and rival CVS Health Corp.

With its user-friendly packaging and design, PillPack has shaken up the pharmacy business, generating more than $100 million in revenue past year.

Amazon's ambitions to become an online pharmacy are finally coming to fruition.

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"We know that we have to change the level of our services to the customers and we are working quite hard on that direction, but we are not anxious", Pessina said.

TJ Parker, co-founder and CEO of PillPack, said the company which specializes in handling dose packaging and coordinates refills and renewals will benefit from a tie-up with Amazon.

The deal could give Amazon another major foothold in New England, where it has made several major acquisitions and investments in recent years. Pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts was also lower.

With Amazon's (amzn) firepower behind it, PillPack can upend how customers buy and receive their prescription medications.

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