In the past, it’s typically taken about eight years of college education in order to earn a Pharmacy degree and become a pharmacist. Soon, however, that could be changing as an emphasis has been placed on digitizing just about every industry, including the pharmaceutical market.
According to Money, Amazon recently purchased online pharmacy PillPack, a major move that will likely disrupt and revolutionize the entire drug store sector.
“PillPack’s visionary team has a combination of deep pharmacy experience and a focus on technology,” said Jeff Wilke, Amazon’s CEO of worldwide consumers. “PillPack is meaningfully improving its customers’ lives, and we want to help them continue making it easy for people to save time, simplify their lives, and feel healthier. We’re excited to see what we can do together on behalf of customers over time.”
PillPack already has pharmacy licenses in all 50 states and delivers prescription medications to patients in pre-sorted doses specially designed to improve organizing and administering medications. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, the richest man in the entire world, is even reaching out to Warren Buffett and JPMorgan Chase, which has sent down shares of other top pharmaceutical companies. Both CVS and Walgreens Boots Alliance fell 9% and 10% respectively in early trading and these in-person shops have already been reporting drop in same-store sales across the United States.
“[The deal] tries to cut two pain points: the visit to the pharmacy and the dosing out of multiple medications,” said Kathy Hempstead, a senior adviser at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. “Scaling that option to Amazon’s huge distribution network could have major potential.”
Bloomberg reports that PillPack was already a major player within the digital prescription sector, serving more than 40,000 customers. The entire retail prescription market as a whole in the U.S. is currently worth about $328.6 billion.
Despite the new massive financial acquisition, TJ Parker, current CEO and cofounder of PillPack will stay on to help the merge and run the company. He added that “Together with Amazon, we are eager to continue working with partners across the healthcare industry to help people throughout the U.S. who can benefit from a better pharmacy experience.”
“Amazon is going to be able to challenge many of the ways that pharmacy benefit managers and payers manage their networks,” added Adam Fein, CEO of Drug Channels Institute. “It’s going to be very hard to keep Amazon out.”
Amazon, though already a major player in the general retail sector, has been dipping its hands in all sorts of lucrative markets as of late. In addition to these massive pharmaceutical plans, Bezoz and other infesters recently spent $200 million for alternative medications as well, involving hydroponic vertical farming.
Some plants and crops can actually grow twice as fast in hydroponic setups because of the ability for the individual to administer the exact amount of water, oxygen, and nutrients needed. This form of innovative farming has already been on the rise as of late and could revolutionize dozens of other industries as well — Amazon’s stock could continue to significantly increase. In fact, industrial use of fertilizers is currently valued at $200 billion, but with hydroponic farming, it’ll be much easier to handle and administer essential chemicals and minimized to fertilizers and fields of crops.
After announcing Amazon’s plans to spend an additional $13.7 billion in order to acquire Whole Foods, now the organization will invest in a hydroponic vertical farming startup called Plenty Inc.
Plenty raised the $200 million in Series B funding though Bezoz and other players in what the company called the largest agricultural technology investment of all time.
Plenty was already focusing on raising money, earning an additional $24.5 million in 2016, but Amazon’s investment really sealed the deal.
“Our technology is uniquely capable of growing super clean food with no pesticides nor GMOs while cutting water consumption by 99%, making locally-grown produce possible anywhere,” added Matt Barnard, founder and CEO of Plenty.
Bezos has yet to comment on any of these recent investments, but Amazon is clearly disrupting all kinds of essential markets that will impact in-store sales, digital sales, as well as industry and livelihoods alike.