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January 2018  Volume 16, Number 1        

Could Amazon Lower Drug Costs?

Rumors that Amazon might enter the retail pharmacy market have already sparked reaction in the healthcare and related industries. CVS Health apparently began talks to acquire Aetna, one of the nation’s largest health insurance providers. Investors reacted by selling off shares of CVS Health and Walgreens.

The pharmacy industry is concerned because Amazon could disrupt the industry by cutting out brick and mortar drugstores and other distributors. Amazon also could use its buying power to offer cut-rate generic drugs. Observers also believe Amazon could open pharmacies at its latest acquisition, Whole Foods.

If Amazon decides to get into retail pharmaceuticals, an easy way to begin would be to set up a mail-order pharmacy for customers who don’t have insurance or who have high-deductible health plans.

Amazon also could serve as a pharmacy-benefit manager overseeing drug coverage on behalf of insurers or large employers. Because most employees use the service covered by their health plan, Amazon would have a captive audience.

Although Amazon representatives are not commenting on the speculation, the company has acquired wholesale pharmacy licenses in several states. Amazon reportedly has hired a general manager to lead a team to explore the idea of selling prescription drugs.





In this issue:

Could Amazon Lower Drug Costs?

Pharmacogenomics: Better Health and Cost Savings

Short- or Long-Term? Which Disability Policy is Best for Your Employees?

The Benefits of Offering Supplemental Life Insurance

Voluntary Benefits Now Almost Mandatory



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