Amazon’s, the biggest online retailer and what many analysts see as a soon-to-be big player in digital healthcare, isn’t saying much about its recent acquisition of web drugstore PillPack.com—yet.
But Amazon on its second quarter earnings call did drop a few nuggets about why it bought PillPack.com, which some published reports claim was about a $1 billion acquisition.
The biggest takeaway: PillPack.com is a business Amazon believes it can build up quickly.
“They’re like a lot of the other acquisitions we’ve done,” Amazon chief financial officer Brian T. Olsavsky told Wall Street analysts on the company’s most recent earnings call and based on a transcript from SeekingAlpha.com. “Recently, we’re looking for well-run companies with highly-differentiated customer experience, and a real sense of customer obsession that matches ours—we think PillPack has got all those traits, and we look forward to the deal closing and working with them.”
Amazon announced on June 28 it was buying PillPack.com in a deal Amazon expects to close later this year. Amazon is buying PillPack for its unique business and e-commerce business model, says Colin Sebastian, a senior research analyst with Robert W. Baird and a seasoned Amazon observer. PillPack claims to make it easier and faster for consumers to get prescriptions filled. PillPack manages multiple prescription medications for customers by pre-sorting, packaging and delivering the drugs—all with a 24/7 pharmacy staff that can be contacted either online or via phone.
Every two weeks, customers receive a personalized package containing pre-sorted medications, along with a recyclable dispenser and any other medications that cannot be placed into packets, such as liquids and inhalers. Each shipment includes a medication label that explains what each pill is and how it should be taken.
In addition to pre-sorting medications, PillPack coordinates refills and guarantees all medications will ship on time. Online tools allow customers to track their shipments, refills and co-pays. In late 2017, PillPack rolled out a redesigned website and drug prescription management technology called PharmacyOS, which PillPack says gives consumers better and faster ways to handle multiple prescriptions for chronic diseases that often require patients to take several pills at once.
On the earnings call, Amazon told analysts it liked the way Pillpack built up its personalized approach to e-commerce—a trait Amazon values highly.
“The company has a really highly differentiated customer experience, and they’ve done a great job getting to the size and scale that they’re at today. We think that, working together with them we can expand on that in the future,” Olsavsky told analysts.