Walgreens' chief executive, Stefano Pessina, said he was "not particularly worried" about the PillPack deal in an earnings conference call with analysts on Thursday, describing it only as a "declaration of intent" by Amazon.
With its far-reaching and widely popular online site, Amazon moves closer to establishing beachheads in medicine chests across the USA and using that muscle to alter the traditional playbook for prescription drug distribution. Despite the retailer's vast reach, getting into prescription drugs presented a daunting logistical challenge in terms of licensing and dealing with a range of private and government payers.
An Amazon package is seen after being delivered in London, Britain February 29, 2016.
Such a move had always been expected by investors in established health care companies, who have long feared the world's biggest online retailer's potential to disrupt the complex and opaque USA drugs business.
At the time, Parker argued that the company was working to protect its monopoly on home-delivered prescriptions, which Express Scripts disputed. Big packaged food stocks also took a hit.
Now tell us what you think! It recently began selling medical devices and instruments, as well.
Amazon.com is about to wreak havoc in yet another area of retail: drugstores. That effort ultimately failed and Walgreens purchased the money-losing startup in 2011. The e-commerce giant is known for its pivots into new industries, and pharmaceuticals is a profitable bet.
The company had attracted interest from Walmart Inc, which was looking to buy it for under $1 billion, CNBC had reported in April. It counts Accel Partners, Atlas Venture, CRV, Founder Collective, Menlo Ventures, Sherpa Ventures, Techstars among its investors.
PillPack has raised $118 million in venture capital funding. On Tuesday, it became part of the Dow Jones industrial average.