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Amazon Buys Online Pharmacy In Move Into Drug Business

Amazon announced Thursday that it is acquiring the online pharmacy PillPack, a sign of its long-rumored push into the pharmacy business.

Shares of CVS and Walgreens declined on the news of Amazon’s purchase.

“PillPack’s visionary team has a combination of deep pharmacy experience and a focus on technology,” said Jeff Wilke, the head of Amazon’s consumer branch. “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. We’re excited to see what we can do together on behalf of customers over time.”

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PillPack delivers drugs in pre-sorted packaging to match the dosage.

The acquisition by Amazon comes as a range of companies are exploring mergers that could disrupt the health care system.

Amazon is also working with JP Morgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway on a new health-care company that is seeking to lower costs and improve care. The specifics of what the company will do, though, are still unknown.

The new health-care company did recently announce a CEO, Atul Gawande, a surgeon well known for his writing in the New Yorker about the health system.

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