Why Amazon Pharmacy will Attract More Controversy than Profit?

Amazon’s launch of Amazon Pharmacy in 2020 brought a ray of hope and threat, all at the same time

Amazon pharmacy

Amazon pharmacy

It is been a little less than three decades since Amazon as we know today ‘The Everything Store’ was first launched by Jeff Bezos. What started as a bookseller has now evolved to have everything starting from baby diapers to drones and machinery. The online seller is disrupting the way people shop and is creating economic ripple effects that go far beyond the customer’s wallet. What we all know as an essential product buyer has recently stepped into healthcare. Amazon’s launch of Amazon Pharmacy in 2020 brought a ray of hope and threat, all at the same time.

Why do people choose Amazon over many sellers? Because the overhead costs are much lower than other retailers as there are no storefronts. The online seller’s flexible technology stack allows it to offer consumers a broader product assortment, greater convenience, and highly competitive pricing. All these make Amazon a formidable competitor for traditional and small multi-channel retailers. Ever since its launch, the company did not face much in terms of inflation, thanks to its disruptive policies that accelerated the demise of struggling players. The company also sat on the undercut rivals on prices and operates on a thinner profit margin. Although Amazon is much loved by customers, the scenario is not the same for workers and small product sellers. After stealing the spotlight in the retail market for many years, the company has moved into the healthcare sector by launching Amazon Pharmacy. While people are happy to have a trusted source from where they can buy prescribed medicines, it also opens a debate, and more or less a fight for healthcare supply domination.

 

About Amazon Pharmacy

Exactly two years after making one of its biggest acquisitions, Amazon launched Amazon Pharmacy in November 2020, amidst the pandemic. When the online retailer acquired PillPack for US$753 million, people were already aware of what was coming forth. Amazon Pharmacy offers to help customers conveniently purchase their prescription medications. It allows consumers to complete an entire pharmacy transaction on their desktop, or smartphone, or laptop through Amazon App. Besides, the application also provides futuristic features for consumers to add their insurance information, manage prescriptions, and choose payment options before checking out on their profile. 

To make the platform even wider for people, Amazon has leveraged ‘self-service help’ tools on the portal. Consumers also have the option to speak to pharmacists over the phone for advice 24/7.

 

Why Amazon Pharmacy is at controversy?

During the acquisition of PillPack and the launch of Amazon Pharmacy, the online retailer’s competitors faced a severe drop in the share price. But experts opined that the acquisition brought less impact than they anticipated. 

The United States, the homeland of Amazon Inc is not very favorable to the company, at least not on a political scale. While the Trump administration was already taking initiatives to break the monopolies, the Biden administration is pretty aggressively moving forward. One topic where the US senators, both Republicans and Democrats had similar opinions was breaking the monopolies and paving way for disruptive companies to emerge from the shadow. While Amazon is already very dominant in the retail market, its emergence in the healthcare sector will further deteriorate the situation. It will walk over innovation and block small pharma suppliers from growing. This all comes are a time when there are repeated reports on the worst working condition at Amazon factories and delivery services. The stories on Amazon worker peeing on a bottle at the workspace to avoid going to the toilet and reports on Amazon delivery people being asked to drive rashly to meet their targets are no joke. Altogether, it is pushing the company to a bottleneck space from where it will come out without scorn or will be thrashed and broken down. 

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