Amazon has steadily crept towards the pharmaceutical market for a little while now. Evidence of its possible entry into the prescription delivery market can be seen in many of its smaller moves in that direction.
In Seattle, Amazon launched a local delivery service of non-prescription drugs under its Prime subscription service, through a well-known drug store. Earlier in the year, it Amazon added a pharmaceuticals category to its Japanese site. CNBC reported Amazon hiring key people to help it figure out how to enter into pharmaceutical market.
It’s no secret Amazon holds annual meetings where the viability of entering the pharmaceutical marketplace comes up. The company already has made inroads with auxiliary services, such as selling medical supplies and equipment.
Does Amazon have a chance in the pharmaceutical market?
Healthcare is in a state of flux, people want more options. Amazon has proven they can upset markets and firmly insert themselves into niches where most thought they would fail. However, the pharmaceutical market has some strong competitors who want to own prescription services.
Amazon would have to invest a substantial amount of money. They would have to offer discounts and incentives that can edge out the already robust field of mail-order prescriptions services. In addition, Amazon cannot deliver the type of personal care people typically want when it comes to picking up their prescriptions.
What Amazon has going for itself
Amazon is aggressive, and they have a logistics chain stretching across the country. Their distribution network is vast, and they have a proven history of figuring out ways to make goods cheaper and more available to those who want them.
Amazon is also not afraid to field-test and fine-tune new ideas. This all gives Amazon a few different paths into the pharmaceutical market. For example, they can purchase an already operating service and expand from there. Or, they can partner with small or large chain pharmacy companies that already have a delivery infrastructure in place.
It’s all speculation at this point, but one thing is for certain, Amazon is certainly looking into the possibilities.