How will an Amazon Pharmacy Impact Healthcare Executives?


In May, CNBC reported Amazon’s intention to enter the highly-regulated pharmaceutical market. Having the ability to deliver prescriptions to its 80 million Prime subscribers, it poses an interesting scenario to a withering pharmacy marketplace. And Amazon has assembled a leadership team of industry experts poised enough to break into the field.

Amazon is in a unique position to overcome the challenges of prescription delivery, with enough capital and customers to support the 4 billion prescription drugs filled in the US every year. Business Insider reported Amazon accounts for 43% of ALL retail sales online, and Fortune predicts they will take more than half of e-commerce shopping by 2021.

Can Amazon break into healthcare?

The pharmacy space is shrinking, with Walgreens purchasing 2,186 Rite Aid stores for $5.1 billion. Target sold its onsite pharmacies to CVS in 2015. There are very few big players left in the market and a survey conducted by Wells Fargo analyst David Maris found that half of all adults would buy their prescriptions from Amazon if given the option.

That is quite a blow to pharmacies if Amazon’s behind-the-scenes positioning is true. In a time where Americans are skittish on the healthcare industry at large, an Amazon pharmacy could bring about an unprecedented industry change. Amazon is known for its vast selection and lower price points, which poses an interesting scenario to the high – and often questioned – cost of prescription drugs. So high market need, high levels of complexity, high cost and shrinking patient options leaves Americans eager and waiting for an Amazon pharmacy.

How Does an Amazon Pharmacy Impact Healthcare Executives?

This is a fluid industry. New technology, medical advancements, prescriptions and illness dictate where and how healthcare evolves. Executives must be open-minded and flexible enough to be at the leading edge of change. One of the worst mistakes a healthcare organization can make is to watch its competitors take on a new challenge and leave the window open for them to grab a solid piece of the market.

Healthcare executives need to begin thinking forward, rather than focusing on what has always been common practice. They need to keep an eye on what could be the practice, strategically considering how they could partner with Amazon, thinking through whether their organization is at risk. Can they avoid losing patients?

If your healthcare organization is searching for a forward-thinking executive, Reeder & Associates is experienced in fitting candidates for the most challenging roles. Contact us and learn how we partner with organizations to meet their needs.

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