Amazon could seek pharmacy partner to crack healthcare, Goldman Sachs says

The retailer could build its own online pharmacy, move its Echo/Alexa into the clinical realm and build or buy telemedicine and remote patient monitoring technology, analysts suggest.
By Bernie Monegain
01:32 PM
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Amazon Alexa seek pharmacy partner

Amazon appears to have put its plans to join the healthcare market on the fast track.

On the heels of creating a stealth team to focus on opportunities in the healthcare IT market, the e-commerce giant, now could be positioning itself to take the leap into pharma.

Investment banking firm Goldman Sachs is out with a new report indicating some preparations on the part of Amazon to seek a pharmacy partner as an initial step, reported first by CNBC.

[Also: Wait! What? Amazon and Apple eye building EHRs]

The Goldman Sachs report compiled by five analysts, suggests that Amazon could move its way into healthcare by first partnering with a pharmacy benefits manager, which is a third-party administrator of prescription drug programs.

The move might open up new opportunities for Amazon to cross-sell, according to the report.

In recent weeks, both Amazon and Apple have indicated a more than passing interest in a healthcare play, with explorations including EHRs and telemedicine. To date, the reports are based on unnamed sources.

Another scenario put forth by Goldman Sachs considers Amazon’s potential to speed up the drug delivery process – and home delivery. It would not be unlike what Amazon did with books – and the other products available on its website. Also, Amazon could build its own online pharmacy.

The ecommerce giant also has other pathways to the healthcare industry. It could move its Echo/Alexa into the clinical realm and build or buy telemedicine and remote patient monitoring technology, Goldman Sachs notes.

“There are really large companies in the tech world that are driving really significant growth,” David Solomon, president and co-chief operating officer of Goldman Sachs, notes in a video on the investment bank’s website.

Amazon grew 27 percent on $130 billion in revenue in 2016, Solomon said.

One-fifth of the S&P 500 constituents referenced Amazon on quarterly earnings calls in the past 90 days, according to investment research company Seeking Alpha, which added: “The scope and scale of the companies and industries referencing Amazon show the tremendous competitive reach of the e-commerce giant.”

Twitter: @Bernie_HITN
Email the writer: bernie.monegain@himssmedia.com


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