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Thursday, June 28, 2018

Online Pharmacy's have broken through the 'glass ceiling'

This morning Amazon broke the news that it is acquiring virtual pharmacy PillPack. With this, the online retail giant that has made itself famous for “one-click shopping” for consumer goods is positioning to expand its services to include prescription medication. 

Do you remember when ordering prescriptions from Canadian online pharmacies and ordering contract lenses online was considered  'UnAmerican?  Today if you are not purchasing items, medications, or dog food online you may be considered a  Luddite. 

The recent announcement that Berkshire Hathaway and Amazon would partner to improve health care and reduce cost is becoming a reality very quickly.

A week after appointing a CEO for its healthcare joint venture with Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan, Amazon  today announced an acquisition that underscores how it also hopes to have a more direct — and more commercial — role in the world of healthcare in the coming years. The company has purchased PillPack, an online pharmacy the lets users buy medications in pre-made doses.

The move (and that reported valuation hike) signal how heated the e-health market is becoming, and also how Amazon views it as a key frontier in its bid to be the go-to place for anything a consumer (or medical organization) might want or need in the area of healthcare.
The might of Amazon in commerce plays a massive role in how the market is poised to develop: it buying the company is not only a signal of how PillPack will likely get scaled out (not least through Amazon’s healthcare JV) but also because of how other pharmacy companies will have to respond. So far, the market is punishing the rest for not already being where Amazon appears to be going.
“PillPack’s visionary team has a combination of deep pharmacy experience and a focus on technology,” Jeff Wilke, CEO of Amazon Worldwide Consumer, said in a statement. “PillPack is meaningfully improving its customers’ lives, and we want to help them continue making it easy for people to save time, simplify their lives, and feel healthier. We’re excited to see what we can do together on behalf of customers over time.”
Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan announced the eagerly-anticipated head of their joint venture on Wednesday: Atul Gawande, MD. 
Gawande has worn many hats over his distinguished career: surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, a professor at Harvard's T.H. Chan School of Public Health, staff writer at The New Yorker, best-selling author.
The precise nature of the new venture, which the three companies announced earlier this year, is still largely shrouded in mystery. It doesn't even have a name yet. 
But today three new facts emerged: It will be based in Boston. It will be an "independent entity that is free from profit-making incentives and constraints." And Gawande will lead it, starting on July 9. The New England-based startup delivers medications in pre-sorted dose packaging, coordinates refills and renewals, and ensures that shipments are sent on time, according to a statement. The service targets people who take multiple daily prescriptions. While terms of the deal have not yet been released,  
The synergy of Amazon and Berkshire Hathaway funding the venture along with a visionary CEO, who has a credible and altruistic vision of how health care must change to deliver quality care. 

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