Pills By Amazon: The Retail Giant Just Bought The Online Pharmacy PillPack

In its latest move into the commercial health care industry, Amazon acquired an online pharmacy that sends customers prepackaged medication doses.

Amazon announced on Thursday that it had purchased PillPack, an online pharmacy that sends customers prepackaged medication doses, in its latest move into the commercial health care industry.

The companies declined to provide addition details. TechCrunch reported that the deal amounted to "just under $1 billion." Previously, PillPack had reportedly been in acquisition talks with Walmart.

“PillPack’s visionary team has a combination of deep pharmacy experience and a focus on technology,” Jeff Wilke, Amazon CEO Worldwide Consumer, said in a statement. “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."

Once "tiny little" @PillPack has instantly shaved more than $13B off the market cap of the entire US pharmacy / drugstore industry via acquisition by @amazon https://t.co/ofuug2CzGh

@mdudas / Via Twitter: @mdudas

PillPack, an online-based company that delivers custom packages of medications for consumers, is licensed to ship prescriptions in 49 states. Wired reported last year that it has "tens of thousands of customers." The startup has raised roughly $118 million in funding from investors, including Charles River Ventures and Accel, and reached $100 million in revenue last year, according to PitchBook. In 2016 it was reported to be valued at $330 million.

“PillPack makes it simple for any customer to take the right medication at the right time, and feel healthier,” TJ Parker, cofounder and CEO of PillPack, said in a statement. “Together with Amazon, we are eager to continue working with partners across the healthcare industry to help people throughout the U.S. who can benefit from a better pharmacy experience.”

Amazon has been making inroads in the health care industry. It launched a private label over-the-counter drug line called Basic Care through a partnership with Perrigo and last year obtained pharmacy licenses in several states.

The company announced in January that it is developing a nonprofit health care entity with Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan aimed at serving its employees. Last week it announced that it had appointed Dr. Atul Gawande, a general and endocrine surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and a professor at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Harvard Medical School, as CEO of the joint health care venture.

PillPack and Amazon expect to close the transaction during the second half of 2018.

— Stephanie Lee contributed reporting

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