Amazon usually checks new product strains in non-U.S. markets, earlier than it assesses whether or not to roll it out within the home market. The corporate examined its secret drone-delivery program in Canada, as an example.
In america alone, greater than 4 billion prescriptions are ordered yearly. In 2015, sufferers, insurance firms and different payers spent an estimated $300 billion on pharmaceuticals.
For Amazon, it is a profitable market that may require navigating a wide range of current gamers. For customers with a excessive greenback deductible, Amazon might sometime be a go-to vacation spot to buy medicine.
“I believe Amazon would introduce a whole lot of transparency to what medicine actually value,” mentioned Stephen Buck, a well being entrepreneur and co-founder of GoodRx, a service that guarantees to save lots of customers on the value of prescriptions. Buck sees a slew of potential alternatives for Amazon, together with a product that competes with pharmacy advantages administration giants like Specific Scripts and CVS Well being.
Buck estimates that it is a $25 billion to $50 billion market alternative for Amazon, if executed effectively. However the firm would additionally face challenges getting into a regulated market. “Prescription switch legal guidelines and e-prescribing make it slightly harder than placing one thing in a cart and testing,” he mentioned.
Amazon beforehand backed a “dotcom” darling referred to as Drugstore.com within the late 1990s, with CEO Jeff Bezos taking up a director function. At the moment, it was speculated that Amazon might carve out an enormous chunk of the prescription and over-the-counter drug gross sales market. Drugstore.com later offered to Walgreens, which ultimately shut it down.