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This article was published on October 9, 2017

Amazon’s next target could be CVS and Walgreens

Amazon’s next target could be CVS and Walgreens
Tristan Greene
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Tristan Greene

Editor, Neural by TNW

Tristan covers human-centric artificial intelligence advances, politics, queer stuff, cannabis, and gaming. Pronouns: He/him Tristan covers human-centric artificial intelligence advances, politics, queer stuff, cannabis, and gaming. Pronouns: He/him

Amazon could be entering the drug game — prescription drugs, that is — according to a new report.

The report, from healthcare industry investment experts Leerink, indicates Amazon will enter the pharmaceutical industry within the next two years. Word of the report caused Walgreens and CVS stocks to drop nearly five percent, demonstrating how powerful the mere thought of Amazon can be.

At this point it’s safe to say that if Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos decides the company should become an online pharmacy, it will. Short of military intervention it’s nearly impossible to imagine anything stopping Amazon from disrupting – and taking over – any industry it bloody pleases. And, in the very short-term consequence-free present, this might not be a bad thing.

Healthcare in the US is largely chaotic and obviously bent to line the pockets of insipid companies like Mylan — the assholes charging $600 for an EpiPen that costs $30 to make. It’s an industry ripe for Amazon to come along and do what it does: display a complete and utter contempt for the status-quo by destroying its competition without mercy. Here’s hoping it starts with pharmacies and moves on to pharmaceuticals.

This time, instead of making life hard for Walmart or Barnes and Noble, Amazon could be the enemy of my enemy. If this sounds romantic, so be it: these are the times we live in. What happens when the healthcare industry has to turn to Amazon for a way forward? Your guess is as good as mine, but it’s got to be better than what we’re putting up with now. It doesn’t matter one tiny bit whether you’re all in for Obama-care or can’t wait to see it repealed, you’re still getting screwed over by Mylan and its ilk.

Amazon could change that. The company can afford to take on the pharmaceutical industry in a way that Obama, Trump, and Sam Walton can’t. And not just financially either, Amazon is structured in such a way that it’s almost impossible to take the company down. You don’t get to vote Jeff Bezos out of office and it would take more than just an act-of-congress to slow his company down.

While there’s nothing particularly wrong with Walgreens or CVS, and those companies represent thousands of employees, they’ll end up casualties just like the rest of the merchant world. Amazon is better at being itself than any number of other storefronts are at being anything else, and it always wins in the end.

Plus it’s hard to root against anything that’s going to help me get my prescriptions quicker and cheaper, at my age that’s important. What a drag it is getting older.

Amazon didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.