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The rumor that Amazon has set its sights on disrupting the pharmaceutical industry has gained greater currency recently, just months after the company set the grocery business on fire with its acquisition of Whole Foods, and in the midst of its widely publicized search for a second U.S. headquarters location.
Amazon reportedly has taken major steps toward becoming a drug distributor and seller — actions that have caused concern among potential competitors and may have figured heavily in CVS’ negotiations to buy health insurance firm Aetna for US$66 billion.
Amazon has obtained licenses to sell drugs as a wholesaler in 12 states, including Nevada, Arizona, Alabama, North Dakota and Louisiana, according to a report in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
The E-Commerce Times was able to obtain documents showing that Amazon has licenses to sell wholesale drugs in New Jersey and Connecticut, two other states on the paper’s list.
If Amazon wanted to get into the business of shipping pharmaceuticals directly to consumers, it also would have to obtain pharmacy licenses, the report notes.
The newly obtained licenses are related to the company’s growing healthcare supply business, which is part of a growing B2B segment at Amazon, said spokesperson Lori Torgerson.
As part of that business, Amazon sells professional medical supplies to doctors, dentists and other medical professionals.
“Wholesale licenses are required for Amazon Business to sell professional-use only products to healthcare companies,” Torgerson told the E-Commerce Times.
Amazon this summer announced that its Amazon Business segment,…