- Walgreens and other pharmacy stocks fall, with sources telling Insider that Amazon is considering opening physical drug retail stores.
- Shares of Rite Aid, CVS, and drug wholesalers including AmerisourceBergen came under pressure but have pared losses.
- Talks at Amazon about opening pharmacy locations are in an exploratory stage.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Talks at Amazon about setting up standalone pharmacies are mostly exploratory and there are no firm plans to open physical locations, three people familiar with the matter told Insider. Such a move would be part of a plan by the online retail behemoth to earn a larger share of the country’s $370 billion prescription drug market.
Shares of Walgreens fell by as much as 5.7% then pared the loss to 3.5%. Rite Aid tumbled by 6.4% before trimming the decline to 2.1%. CVS was down 1.7% after a pullback of nearly 4%. In the retail pharmacy space, the trading wiped out $6 billion in market value within an hour of the report’s publication.
November marked the launch of Amazon Pharmacy, through which people purchase their prescription medications online and receive them with two-day shipping if they have a Prime membership. Amazon entered the business of prescription-drug sales when it purchased online pharmacy PillPack in 2018.
Amazon embarking on any meaningful rollout of stores could take more than a year, one source told Insider.