Amazon has been a massively disruptive force in the retail industry and has changed the way that people shop online. Prime members get free video streaming and free two-day shipping on many items making Amazon one of the top shopping destination online. It seems that soon Amazon could be expanding its offerings with pharmacy items, as it has now gained wholesale pharmacy licenses in what is seemingly preparation in multiple states for a push into the drug industry; something that was first mentioned earlier this month.
Amazon has yet to confirm that it will be entering the prescription drug market, but public records show it has gained wholesale pharmacy licenses and there is no other clear reason it would want this type of license other than to sell prescription drugs. There are already major mail order prescription drug pharmacies out there that work directly with health insurance providers. Typically in this sort of arrangement, the person taking a maintenance drug can order via the mail order service and get more medication for a smaller copay.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that it has reviewed the public records and found that Amazon has obtained licenses to operate a wholesale pharmacy in at least 12 states including Nevada, Arizona, North Dakota, Louisiana, Alabama, New Jersey, Michigan, Connecticut, Idaho, New Hampshire, Oregon, and Tennessee. The public records review also indicates a license
There is a possibility that Amazon might be partnering with an existing pharmacy benefit manager or it could be working alone. The addresses on all the licenses are said to be for one of three Amazon facilities in the suburbs of Indianapolis. Interestingly, the license for North Dakota also allows Amazon to distribute medical devices and medical gases.
It appears that Amazon isn't planning to handle controlled substances in at least some of those states. The Nevada license that was granted lacks a checkmark in the box that would have granted the ability to distribute controlled substances. Whatever the case, it looks as though the prescription drug market will soon be turned upside down, giving Amazon yet another market to dominate once it finds its footing.