The Weekly Roundup: Amazon Acquires Mail Order Pharmacy (6.29.18)

June 29, 2018 | Pamela Youngberg Dickson

Thursday’s announcement that Amazon was purchasing small New Hampshire-based mail-order pharmacy PillPack hit insurer, chain, and PBM stocks hard. The deal was an accelerated bid to acquire licensure nationwide (almost). PillPack was founded to address patient confusion over taking multiple medications by shipping dosed prescription packages. Interestingly, in 2016 the company fought and won a tussle with Express Scripts, who alleged that the company misrepresented their services and had dropped them. The acquisition, expected to close in late 2018, is another clear sign that Amazon is taking its foray into health care seriously. The disruption continues apace and certainly bears watching. To date, commentators seem focused on the supply chain and scalability aspects of their entry into the market, and few are talking about its impact on patient care. Independents are also watching and waiting but one thing is sure: they’re used to the competition

Here are a few other stories that might be of interest:

  • A little planning goes a long way. Pharmacists are already playing a substantial role—particularly in rural areas—in closing the gap in primary care, including keeping women and men healthier prior to conception
  • Merry Christmas! The FDA has announced the expedited review (by year end) of a new flu drug that could be a game changer, providing relief in a fast-acting, single dose.
  • Are your patients having trouble conceiving? Results from a recent study may reveal a connection between infertility and iodine deficiency.  
  • Are you ready for National Immunization Awareness Month in August? Start planning your campaign today—there is a wide range of patient-facing resources available. 
  • Feeling a little underappreciated? Here’s another little something to highlight the critical role pharmacists play in the healthcare system.
  • We’re looking forward to seeing many of you at ThoughtSpot 2018 in Orlando! Have you had a chance to review the CE offerings and put together your plan of attack? 

We will be taking a publication break next week and will resume the Weekly Roundup on July 13. We want to wish you and your family a happy and healthy July 4th holiday. 

[Editor’s note:] Our inboxes are stuffed with newsletters and our coffee tables stacked with magazines and industry digests. I’m sure yours are, too. So, we’ve decided to run a weekly sampling of interesting stories, issues coverage, and business ideas we come across each week. We hope you’ll share some of your favorites, too. Drop us a line at

Pamela Youngberg Dickson

Before she came to Smart-Fill, Pamela developed marketing strategy and content for a range of technology start-ups and large-cap enterprises. Outside the office, she's into gardening, renaissance history, the Big Ten, and exploring the great outdoors. 

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