Pharmacy stocks are getting slammed after Amazon buys PillPack (AMZN, WBA)

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

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

Amazon's ambitions to become an online pharmacy are finally coming to fruition. Inc. said that it had agreed to buy online pharmacy PillPack in a deal that will further the retail giant's ambitions in health care.

And if Amazon's torrid stock performance in recent months is any indication, the company's shareholders love the deal activity, among other fundamental drivers.

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. It also handles deliveries, refills, and adjustments to medications.

Shares of CVS and Walgreens declined on the news of Amazon's purchase. It had raised $123 million in financing, most recently $5 million in debt from TriplePoint Venture Growth in August 2017, according to data from industry research firm PitchBook. The company sorts your pills by dose, including vitamins and over-the-counter medicine, into personalized daily packets and delivers everything right to your door each month. "PillPack makes it simple for any customer to take the right medication at the right time, and feel healthier", its cofounder and CEO TJ Parker said in a press release.

With its user-friendly packaging and design, PillPack has shaken up the pharmacy business, generating more than $100 million in revenue past year.

With its far-reaching and widely popular online site, Amazon moves closer to establishing beachheads in medicine chests across the USA and using that muscle to alter the traditional playbook for prescription drug distribution. In February, the grocery chain Albertsons Cos. said it would buy Rite Aid in an effort to hold off Amazon.

The deal could give Amazon another major foothold in New England, where it has made several major acquisitions and investments in recent years. And CVS is acquiring insurer Aetna in a bid to strengthen its business managing pharmacy benefits in the face of new competition.

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