Amazon private label healthcare offerings grow
- Amazon's Basic Care over-the-counter drug offerings grew 19% month over month, outpacing any previous period since the private label was introduced, according to a Jeffries research note from Monday.
- During the same time, growth of the company's Solimo private label offering of nutritional supplements and personal care items has slowed down, compared with recent months. Both labels are competitively priced below CVS and Walgreens products.
- Meanwhile, there are signs Amazon is readying for a bigger push into the prescription drug delivery space via its PillPack acquisition, the analysts said.
It remains to be seen how disruptive Amazon will be in the prescriptions space now that it has its own online pharmacy. The company snagged PillPack, which focuses on delivering individualized rolls of presorted medicines to people who manage multiple daily medications.
It now looks like Amazon is revving up for expansion of PillPack, Jeffries says, citing a new prescribing license in Washington state and licenses pending in Indiana and New Mexico. The pharmacy also has postings for pharmacy technicians and packaging and shipping jobs at its Phoenix distribution center.
"We feel that the strategic significance of the WA Rx license is especially intriguing, suggesting that AMZN is possibly laying the groundwork to leverage the PillPack asset with its own employees before rolling out a full nationwide offering," Jefferies says.
Amazon is steadily pushing further into healthcare, planting its footprint in a range of product and service areas.
Amazon Web Services, the company's cloud business, announced last week that three of its most popular services — Amazon Translate, Amazon Comprehend and Amazon Transcribe — are now HIPAA-eligible. That brings to six the number of HIPAA-eligible AWS machine learning services in its catalog of offerings. The other three are Amazon Polly, Amazon SageMaker and Amazon Rekognition.
The eCommerce giant has also secured a patent for a feature that would enable Alexa, Amazon's voice-activated technology, to detect when a user is feeling ill and recommend an OTC remedy for them to try.
And last month, Amazon announced it would begin selling glucose monitors and blood pressure cuffs direct to consumers via a partnership with Arcadia Group. The devices and supporting apps will be marketed under the "Choice" label and can be purchased without prior authorization.
Amazon also formed a company with J.P. Morgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway to redesign how healthcare is delivered to their U.S. employees.