This system is particularly convenient for people who require ongoing repeat prescriptions, as PillPack arranges the refills and renewals on behalf of the patient. Led by Parker, a licensed pharmacist, it was an early entrant into the field of online medication delivery.
Shareholders suffered jitters after Amazon closed a deal with PillPack, which sells prescriptions in every U.S. state except Hawaii.
The move sent shares of drug distributors and retailers lower.
The online retail giant also announced a joint venture with JPMorgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway aimed at lowering health costs for the companies' U.S. employees.More news: Ex-NATO chief Solana denied entry to US
The reasoning is simple: Amazon has a ton of cash and an unparalleled logistical network, and when it looks poised to enter or expand its position in a market, traders get scared and bail out of holdings in competing companies.
"PillPack's visionary team has a combination of deep pharmacy experience and a focus on technology", Jeff Wilke, Amazon's chief customer service exec, said in a statement.More news: Jared Leto 'joins Spider-Man movie universe' as vampire Morbius
He added this "is only the first play" in an increasingly aggressive strategy by Amazon for a much more significant role in pharmacy.
Founded out of Boston in 2013, PillPack invites customers to sign up online, and the company then dispatches "over-the-counter" and prescription medications in individual packs organized by date and time.
'At this juncture we are not anxious about Amazon's entrance into the prescription market, ' Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Steven Halper said in a note.
The deal - for which terms were not immediately disclosed - marks Amazon's latest push into the healthcare industry. Apparently Walmart was also interested in buying PillPack and was outbid by Amazon. The three companies said they would use big-data analysis and other high-tech tools to improve care and cut waste.More news: The inexorable decline of the Turkish lira under Erdogan