Amazon To Buy Somerville-Based Online Pharmacy PillPack

PillPack prepackages and mails consumers pills.									Pat Greenhouse  The Boston Globe

Watch out, CVS and Walgreens: Amazon on Thursday announced plans to acquire PillPack for an undisclosed sum.

Importantly for Amazon, PillPack already has mail-order pharmacy licenses in all 50 US states, which could enable Amazon to expand quickly into the broader mail-order pharmacy business.

The company's services are aimed at people who take multiple medications, delivering drugs in pre-sorted dose packages.

"They've gotta go to the store three or four times a month because the pharmacy can't even fill them the same day", Parker said.

A PillPack spokesperson said the deal won't have any impact on the Somerville workforce.

Amazon said the deal is expected to close in the second half of 2018.

Shares of CVS and Walgreens declined on the news of Amazon's purchase.

"We know that we have to change the level of our services to the customers and we are working quite hard on that direction, but we are not anxious", Pessina said.

PillPack was founded in 2013 by then-pharmacy student T.J. Parker and Elliot Cohen through the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Hacking Medicine initiative.

"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. It also handles refills and communicates directly with users' insurance and doctors.

The deal could give Amazon another major foothold in New England, where it has made several major acquisitions and investments in recent years.

'Together with Amazon, we are eager to continue working with partners across the healthcare industry to help people throughout the United States who can benefit from a better pharmacy experience, ' Parker said in a statement.

The online retail giant also announced a joint venture with JPMorgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway aimed at lowering health costs for the companies' U.S. employees.

Terms of the arrangement were not immediately disclosed. Pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts was also lower.

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