Amazon gets pharmacy licenses in at least 12 states: report

Tech giant Amazon is expanding into the pharmacy business, according to a Thursday report from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

The popular shopping website has allegedly received approval for wholesale pharmacy licenses in at least 12 states: Nevada, Arizona, North Dakota, Louisiana, Alabama, New Jersey, Michigan, Connecticut, Idaho, New Hampshire, Oregon and Tennessee.

The news comes months after a CNBC report that Amazon was beginning to hire personnel in preparation for breaking in to the industry, which is currently dominated by three major companies.


The report in May of this year indicated that the pharmaceutical industry represents a $25-$50 billion opportunity for Amazon. Inc, which reportedly holds a meeting each year to discuss the possibility.

Amazon recently began selling medical devices and equipment online, and in Japan the company began selling pharmaceuticals and cosmetics through its Prime Now delivery service in April.

The online retail giant is also in the middle of a continent-wide search for a city to host a new, second headquarters. Localities have been tripping over each other to win the $5 billion in construction and 50,000 high-skilled jobs that would come with such a venture.

News of Amazon’s acquiring of the licenses had immediate ripple effects across the stock market. Stock prices for CVS, Rite Aid and other major players in the industry all dropped upon the news report’s release.

In an emailed statement to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, a spokesperson for Amazon, Inc. refused to comment on “rumors and speculation.”

The news comes the same day The Wall Street Journal reported that CVS is in talks to buy health insurer Aetna for $66 billion.

Tags CNBC Amazon Drug prices Pharmaceutical industry

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