Amazon Inc. had said they were planning to transform the health care industry and now with their latest move, all participants of Corpus Christi health insurance will certainly will be impacted. Amazon has announced they will purchase the online pharmacy PillPack for approximately $1 billion dollars.
Physical pharmacy giants such as Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. and CVS Health Corp had already braced for and began implementing counter-measures to soften the threat Amazon posed to their market share and ultimately, profits. But Amazon always makes a big splash. In order to get a sense of how lucrative the prescription drug market has been, U.S. consumers spent approximately $329 billion on retail prescription drugs in 2016. Walgreens and CVS made up nearly one-third of that figure with combined sales nearing $120 billion.
Insurance companies and traditional prescription-drug organizations providing health insurance in Corpus Christi will soon be affected by the online retail giants efforts to disrupt the prescription market. PillPack already has agreements with most major drug-benefit managers such as Express Scripts and CVS and serves Medicare Part D drug plans. Consumers in cities like Corpus Christi with health plans could quickly begin to see lower prices for their prescription drugs.
Another key benefit PillPack could offer potential consumers that physical pharmacies currently can’t match is convenience. PillPack typically sells pre-sorted packets of prescriptions drugs and does something Amazon knows quite a bit about– mails them directly to customers in their homes. They have also developed proprietary technology which automates tasks like refill verification, insurance confirmation, and co-pay determination. In traditional pharmacies, several of these processes are still completed manually and of course, requires patients to pick up their medicine in person.
Rick Thornton, a Corpus Christi health insurance agent, thinks this new development will be significant. “Amazon has unequivocally established dominance in online retail. I believe Corpus Christi consumers will now get some much-needed relief in prescription drug costs. This could help stabilize the upward trend we’ve seen for quite some time,” he states.
Earlier in 2018, Amazon had announced a new venture with JP Morgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway to address health-care benefits. Combine this with Amazon’s purchase of PillPack, it’s clear the prescription drug industry will no longer be following the status-quo in the near future.
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