Almost every other day, American politicians and law interpreters lock horns over healthcare spending. Indeed, the United States government is the biggest spender in the healthcare industry, globally. Despite the heavy government spending, most commercial entrepreneurs do not invest in the industry. It is argued that most of the investors that do, like giant pharmaceutical companies and insurance companies, only do it for selfish reasons. Such arguments do not hold often, though, because the industry is heavily regulated. The industry investors make healthcare distribution easier for their biggest paying client, the government. As most people wish that more could be achieved, the speculations that Amazon retailers are considering an entry into the industry are fascinating to many Americans. Are the speculations mere rumors, or do they carry the weight of truth?
In the recent past, Amazon successfully applied for pharmaceutical licenses in various states. Upon obtaining clearance to sell medical equipment, Amazon’s ambitions in the healthcare industry became more apparent when they started hiring professionals in the same area of expertise. CNBC reported that Amazon did not get permission to sell prescription drugs, but its moves were indicative of its intention to pursue it. In fact, Amazon’s moves caused distress among pharmaceutical companies whose stocks depreciated in value sharply because of the speculations.
More reports from CNBC, tips from anonymous sources and a note from Leerink investment Bank all seem to confirm that indeed Amazon is negotiating its entry into the healthcare market. Its officials have been talking to generic drug makers like Mylan and Norvatis, the Sandoz division. Speculations put forward seem to suggest that Amazon is considering to purchase drugs from Sandoz and Mylan for resale. For now, the industry players can only speculate. Stefano Pessina told Forbes Magazine that Walgreens Boots Alliance was not alarmed by Amazon’s ambitions because the industry is complicated. The Sandoz division of Norvatis also claims that it does not expect Amazon to make any major impact on its business.
The fuss about Amazon’s ambitions will not be waning anytime soon. CEOs from established pharmaceutical firms like Walgreens Boot Alliance, Mylan and Norvatis will also probably refuse to acknowledge the impact that new health care industry players like CVS will have on their business. CVS is a major insurance player, and it recently initiated a process to buy insurance giant Aetna. The moves by both Amazon and CVS are notably innovative and game-changing for all of the other players in the industry.
However, healthcare consumers still do not know how the recent entry into the industry by the two corporate giants will affect their lifestyle. Clearly, whether or not the moves will be beneficial for consumers depends on the goodwill of stakeholders.