Amazon acquires PillPack, an online pharmacy that delivers medicine to your door

PillPack prepackages and mails consumers pills.									Pat Greenhouse  The Boston Globe

PillPack prepackages and mails consumers pills. Pat Greenhouse The Boston Globe

An aging population means we'll see an increase in health concerns and chronic conditions like heart disease, neurodegenerative diseases, and cancer that can be costly to manage. The companies said the deal would have to clear regulatory hurdles before it is complete.

Amazon's purchase of an online chemist that opens an immediate nationwide drug network in the U.S. has shaved billions off the value of three major pharmacy chains.

"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.

Pharmacy stocks in the U.S. market dropped on the deal announcement, most notably those of CVS (-8.1%), Rite Aid (-3.1%), and Walgreens Boots Alliance (-9.2%).

PillPack has raised more than $100 million in investor funding. It offers medications in presorted dose packaging, coordinates refills, and handles shipments.

The firm says it is 'designed to provide the best possible customer experience in the USA for people who take multiple daily prescriptions'. The company ships its customers refillable dispensers along with rolls of plastic packages that hold their pills. The specifics of what the company will do, though, are still unknown.

PillPack was a 2014 finalist for Co.Design's Innovation By Design Awards.

As it has grown, the company has found itself entangled with some of the traditional powers in the business.

The deal comes as the health care industry is undergoing a series of convulsions in response to rising costs and pressure on drug makers, pharmacy benefit managers, and insurers. Startups like San Francisco-based Nimble Pharmacy, which recently expanded to Seattle, are also taking a swing at the space. The companies patched things up a few weeks later.

With its far-reaching and widely popular online site, Amazon moves closer to establishing beachheads in medicine chests across the US and using that muscle to alter the traditional playbook for prescription drug distribution.

That's bad news for Walgreens.

It expects to complete the deal in the second half of the year. It has also laid plans for a major new office with 900 workers in Fort Point.

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