Amazon has obtained pharmacy licenses in a handful of states, pointing to possible plans to disrupt both the drugstore business as also the larger healthcare industry.
The St Louis Post-Dispatch said, the e-commerce giant has received wholesale pharmacy licenses in at least 12 states, including Alabama, Arizona, Connecticut, Idaho, Louisiana, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Dakota, Oregon, and Tennessee.
In some states the permits are required to sell "professional use only" medical devices to medical and dental practices such as procedure trays, sutures, and syringes.
The potential entry of the online retailer into the pharmaceutical business has spurred drug store and pharmaceutical benefits manager CVS to make a $66 billion bid for health insurer Aetna (AET), according to The Wall Street Journal.
According to the Journal, most prescriptions are filled in bricks-and-mortar pharmacies.
"I don't believe that obtaining wholesale licenses in a handful of states really portends a major expansion that's imminent as far as Amazon moving into any part of the pharmaceutical space," said Morning Star analyst, Vishnu Lekraj, who follows the pharmacy benefits managers, said in an interview. "This is not a typical consumer industry."