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Implications For Sure If Amazon Enters Pharmacy Market In Big Way

Health care “is complicated,” stresses a recent New York Times article.

And, notes that piece, a potential new industry player might soon be coming to grips with just how utterly complex the hoops and hurdles relevant to that huge chunk of the economy can be.

Notwithstanding the regulatory exactions — authored by local, state and federal authorities — that confront the industry like recurrent headaches, though, the new kid on the block is unlikely to be fazed or overwhelmed by the red tape.

Because that competitor — likely industry entrant, according to some inside commentators — is Amazon.

When Amazon displays even casual interest in a new field, the thoughts of rivals automatically turn to business warfare and images of conquest by the e-commerce giant. As the Times duly notes, the slightest indication that Amazon executives are eyeing a new business opportunity “can crater the stocks of potential competitors.”

For purposes of this blog post, that means companies like Walgreens, CVS Health, Rite Aid and Walmart.

Those entities are all major players in the country’s pharmacy universe, a business niche that Amazon is reportedly becoming increasingly interested in.

Industry analysts say there is a high probability that Amazon will soon seek to flex its muscles in the pharmacy realm, although there is currently no consensus in view on how the company envisions its participation.

This is a certainty, though: If Amazon seeks to do something even as seemingly straightforward as establishing a mail-order pharmacy, it would need to secure a retail pharmacy license in every state of the country.

Which circles back to that above hoops-and-hurdles reference. The Times notes that selling clothing and groceries is one thing. The close and unrelenting scrutiny attached to virtually every aspect of the health care universe is another thing altogether.

Amazon might find that new reality to be more than a bit humbling.

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