Source: Wikimedia Commons

Amazon is stepping up efforts to make the leap to the pharmaceutical industry, a business valued at US$450 billion dollars in the US.

In the last three months, there has been increasing speculation about the possibility that e-commerce giant Amazon will take on pharmaceuticals, encouraging the fall in share prices of two other pharmaceutical giants: CVS Health and Walgreens Boots Alliance.

As reported by St. Louis Post-Dispatch, so far 12 US states have granted Amazon the license to become an online pharmacy: Alabama, Arizona, Connecticut, North Dakota, Idaho, Louisiana, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Oregon and Tennessee.

It is not yet clear if Amazon will look for an acquisition or partnership with an existing chain. What is certain is that, as has happened with other sectors, the participation of the company in the sale of medicines will bring changes in the pharmaceutical business.

According to an article by the Chicago Tribune, the delivery of medicines could become an incentive for customers to acquire the Amazon Prime membership. The article adds that another commercial opportunity for the retailer is insured patients, since Amazon could establish agreements with insurance companies.

In addition, following the recent acquisition of Whole Foods Market, Amazon could also have a physical presence in stores through the creation of pharmacies or collection points.

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