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Pharmacy stocks fall as Amazon charges into the drug business

PillPack press photo
PillPack, acquired by, ships to every state except Hawaii. This gives Amazon almost instant access to the lucrative US pharmaceutical sales business.

Amazon has officially charged into the health sector. 

This week, the e-commerce giant purchased an online pharmacy called PillPack and sent shockwaves rippling through the stock market. Investors immediately stripped billions in value from brick-and-mortar pharmacy stocks.

The Massachusetts-based PillPack is an online pharmacy for people who take a mix of drugs every day. Medications and vitamins are put into dose packs and shipped directly to the customer. 

Amazon didn’t say what it paid to acquire the company, but there were reports that Walmart was willing to to spend just under $1 billion. After Amazon's acquisition, Walmart lost 1 percent of its value. Investors also pulled money out of Walgreens, Rite-Aid, and Boston-based CVS.

Together, those stocks lost an estimated $12 billion.

Amazon’s shares, on the other hand, gained 2 percent.