Pharmacy stocks tumble on report Amazon is weighing a push into physical pharmacies

Amazon Pharmacy

Shares of drug retailers including Walgreens Boots Alliance and CVS dropped on Wednesday, as Amazon was reported to be looking at options to set up physical pharmacy locations in the US.

Talks at Amazon about setting up standalone pharmacies are mostly exploratory and there are no firm plans to open physical locations, three people familiar with the matter told Insider. Such a move would be part of a plan by the online retail behemoth to earn a larger share of the country’s $370 billion prescription drug market.

Shares of Walgreens fell by as much as 5.7% then pared the loss to 3.5%. Rite Aid tumbled by 6.4% before trimming the decline to 2.1%. CVS was down 1.7% after a pullback of nearly 4%. In the retail pharmacy space, the trading wiped out $6 billion in market value within an hour of the report’s publication.

Meanwhile, shares of drug wholesalers AmerisourceBergen and Cardinal Health shed 0.6% but were off session lows. McKesson moved down 1.1%.

November marked the launch of Amazon Pharmacy, through which people purchase their prescription medications online and receive them with two-day shipping if they have a Prime membership. Amazon entered the business of prescription-drug sales when it purchased online pharmacy PillPack in 2018.

Amazon embarking on any meaningful rollout of stores could take more than a year, one source told Insider.

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