Amazon produces one million million dollars in medical care, buying PillPack Inc. is making its way into the heart of the US health system. UU., Instantly stirring a prescription drug industry that is already in the midst of a wider transformation.

Insurance companies and drug benefits managers have come up with a series of deals in recent months designed in part to thwart a potential big stir in Amazon's health world. But the online retail giant's decision to buy PillPack online quickly accelerates the threat they pose to retailers, suppliers and intermediaries.

More immediately, the measure represents a formidable challenge for pharmacy chains, including Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. and [19659005] CVS Health Corp., the two largest pharmacy chains in the US. UU Shares of Walgreens fell 8.5 percent at 10:49 a.m. in New York, while CVS shares lost 8.9 percent.

"This provides a way for Amazon to disrupt major pharmacies in the way they have disrupted booksellers, pet supplies, clothing and other large retailers," said Lisa Bielamowicz, president of consultancy Gist Healthcare.

Amazon will pay about a billion dollars for the Boston-based PillPack, according to a person familiar with the matter. The transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2018, according to a statement from the companies.

The United States market for prescription drugs is huge. In 2016, US consumers UU spent $ 328.6 billion on prescription drugs, according to data from the US government. UU CVS had $ 59.5 billion in prescription sales last year, while Walgreens sold $ 57.8 billion in its 2017 fiscal.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, after creating his original idea at the retailer in The world's largest line, it has been using engineering and acquisitions to infiltrate a growing number of companies. It took over the $ 800 billion grocery industry with the purchase of Whole Foods last year, and entered consumer electronics with the creation of the Kindle e-reader and the Echo voice-controlled speaker.


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