U.S. tech stocks rise; Amazon deal shakes health care firms

U.S. tech stocks rise; Amazon deal shakes health care firms

U.S. tech stocks rise; Amazon deal shakes health care firms

Terms were not disclosed. Although PillPack expects sales to exceed only about $100 million this year, Amazon's huge customer base and existing shipping infrastructure could allow the company to scale up quickly.

Amazon and PillPack said they expected to close the deal by the end of the year, subject to regulatory approval.

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.

Lekraj noted that PillPack's business is geared largely toward patients with recurring medication needs, which, as a group, tend to be older, and many of those people still prefer to go to bricks-and-mortar pharmacies.

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CVS shares tumbled 8.6% in pre-market trade on the news, while Walgreens slumped 8.5%.

Its software platform, PharmacyOS, was built in-house and helps customers manage their pill intake with real-time notifications and an online dashboard. Shares of drug wholesalers McKesson Corp, Cardinal Health and AmerisourceBergen all fell.

The sale was also a big deal for Amazon, who has been publicly plotting their entry into the healthcare business since announcing their joint healthcare venture with Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan. The healthcare joint venture and the PillPack deal may signal that Amazon is continuing to make a thrust into the $3 trillion U.S. healthcare market.

"The health care space and pharmaceutical space in particular are very complex, nuanced markets", Lekraj said.

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"We wouldn't be surprised to see pharmacies in Whole Foods at some point", he told the news service.

"However, we have learned never to discount a potential Amazon entrance into any market", the analyst said. Customers can use the technology to contact pharmacists that can answer questions. The online retail giant outbid rival Walmart Inc.to win PillPack, Bloomberg reported on Thursday.

Customers can talk/chat with a pharmacist at PillPack 24/7. Even if PillPack is a network provider today, it does not mean it will be a network provider in the future, especially if Amazon has designs of significantly ramping its prescription volume'.

The company picked up independent pharmacy PillPack for an undisclosed amount on Thursday, allowing it access to PillPack's pharmacy distribution system created to make getting prescriptions simpler for patients.

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