With pharmacies not certain of whether or not Amazon will expand into the prescription drug arena, some are taking steps in an effort to preserve their business and compete in the event the e-tail giant does venture into this market. In recent pharma news, CVS Health has announced that in 2018 it will begin offering same-day delivery of prescription drugs in large cities, and next-day delivery in other areas.
According to an article at the New York Times, CVS admitted that for the third quarter of 2017, retail sales had dipped; the company said the decline was due to the closure of many stores caused by the major hurricanes that occurred recently.
CVS Health is concerned that if Amazon does expand into the prescription drug industry, it could impact their business as it has many other markets in recent years including groceries, household goods, and books. While the online retail giant has not announced its intentions regarding the prescription drug market, it has hired a few drug industry executives and obtained wholesale pharmacy distributor permits in more than a dozen states over the past few months.
CVS has reportedly been in discussions with Aetna recently about a possible acquisition due to the concern over a possible “market upheaval,” should Amazon enter the prescription drug market, although details about any possible deal were not disclosed by CVS Health Chief Executive and President, Larry Merlo.
News reports indicate that some of the cities who will have same-day delivery services beginning early in 2018 include Boston, Miami, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. Other cities in the U.S. will have access to next-day delivery from local stores.
President of CVS Pharmacy and Executive VP of CVS Health, Helena Foulkes, said in a recent statement that the goal of the company is to “meet the needs of all of our customers wherever, however, and whenever they want.”
Perhaps in the coming months the country will learn whether Amazon does intend to expand into the prescription drug market, and how it may impact pharmacies and the pharmaceutical industry.
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