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Amazon acquires pharmacy startup PillPack; purchase price thought to be near $1b

Amazon acquires pharmacy startup PillPack; purchase price thought to be near $1b

The fund participated in an early investment round that raised $8.8 million for the startup, which streamlines the prescription drug delivery process for people that require multiple daily medications and ships to all 50 states. The service is available in 49 states, with its main pharmacy located in Manchester, New Hampshire.

It expects to complete the deal in the second half of the year.

An aging population means we'll see an increase in health concerns and chronic conditions like heart disease, neurodegenerative diseases, and cancer that can be costly to manage.

After months of speculation that it would get into the pharmacy business, online retailer Amazon is buying a pharmacy company. Led by Parker, a licensed pharmacist, it was an early entrant into the field of online medication delivery.

The acquisition comes after Amazon in January teamed with Warren Buffett's holding company Berkshire Hathaway and financial services giant JPMorgan Chase to form a not-for-profit organization aimed at serving the health care needs of their US-based employees. In January, the company announced a collaboration with JPMorgan and Berkshire Hathaway meant to reduce healthcare costs for USA workers. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Amazon referred to the deal as a "definitive merger agreement".

Amazon declined to answer questions about how PillPack would be incorporated into its business and whether there are plans for worldwide expansion.

The three companies said they would use big-data analysis and other high-tech tools to improve care and cut waste.

Rite Aid is headquartered in East Pennsboro Township. Even if PillPack is a network provider today, it does not mean it will be a network provider in the future, especially if Amazon has designs of significantly ramping its prescription volume'.

Shares of drug wholesalers McKesson Corp, Cardinal Health and AmerisourceBergen also fell sharply.

"I think this is a fundamental step for Amazon, to begin to attack the pharmacy industry", said Adam Fein, president of Pembroke Consulting and an expert on the drug supply chain.

"When Amazon sneezes, everybody else catches a cold", said Joseph Feldman, an analyst with Telsey Advisory.

The company's backers include Accel Partners, Atlas Venture, CRV, Founder Collective, Menlo Ventures, Sherpa Ventures and Techstars.

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