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Amazon Pharmacy Inc

Discussion in 'Pharmacy' started by Seriously Serious, Feb 24, 2018.

  1. Seriously Serious

    Seriously Serious SDN Gold Donor
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  3. Trollest

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    This cant be good for anyone. We all know what happened when they took over retails, etc...
     
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  4. footfairy

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    Seems like non-news. I've been buying OTC allergy meds and pain killers from Amazon since like 2010. I think it was Costco's Kirkland brand back then. Shipped+sold by Amazon direct.
     
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  5. Seriously Serious

    Seriously Serious SDN Gold Donor
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    "Amazon already sells branded OTC medications such as Advil, Mucinex and Nicorette, as well as options from Perrigo's generic GoodSense brand. These products are all subject to the fluctuating prices from competitors.

    But its exclusive brand would not be.

    Consumer health private-label brands reap larger margins than their branded peers, and stores can keep them priced relatively close to the name brand as long as they're less expensive. Amazon can apply its classic playbook of taking razor-thin profit margins in order to price products lower than competitors."
     
  6. Seriously Serious

    Seriously Serious SDN Gold Donor
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    I do not see myself buying OTC from Amazon to save a couple of dollars. However, the point is they care enough about the market to launch their own line; how soon will we see the same for prescription products?
     
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  7. BenJammin

    BenJammin No Apologies

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    I'm an investor in a few local independents. You really think someone with a migraine is going to spend $5 on liquid ibuprofen to come in the mail when they could come down to one of our joints and get it immediately for $3.50?
     
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  8. Trollest

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    Great point.
     
  9. Sine Cura

    Sine Cura 10 seconds or less

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    Impulse buys you "need" right away, no. "Predictable" purchases or things not readily available at a B&M drug store chain or mass merchandiser or grocery store, probably.
     
  10. owlegrad

    owlegrad Uncontrollable Sarcasm Machine
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    Last time my mom needed OTC medicine she used Amazon Now and had it within 2 hours. Who wants to go out when they are sick?
     
  11. lord999

    Pharmacist Faculty Moderator Emeritus

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    It works because your "product" isn't liquid ibuprofen (it's the draw). The product is @BenJammin being there with the liquid ibuprofen to sell (and that he can make it taste not so $*(#ing bad to the customer's individual taste for a tiny contribution of the cost of Starbucks coffee, it's less likely to generate emesis on taste alone but cannot be sent). There are thriving coffee shops in Starbucks-dominated Seattle, as there always will be for independent pharmacies that recognize their real product and sell it properly.

    But, any independent who tries to out-Wal-Mart Wal-Mart has a quick and decisive fate in failure. What's different this time is not outdoing Wal-Mart, but outdoing a corporation that no state board has the regulatory equipment to control and that the frontier is yet to be claimed. If you are stupid enough to offer the same product as Wal-Mart and Amazon, it becomes a race to the bottom. You have to find a better product to sell that Amazon can't.

    On the other hand, working for the devil, the main idea is to extract the maximum "rent" in the economic sense that you can.
     
  12. trailerpark

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    If Amazon wants to make real money they should launch their own supplements. I always love how Amazon gives you the price per pill. Makes it easy to compare and save.
     
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  13. disgonbgud

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    They definitely will. Amazon's been working behind the scenes using crowdsourcing to categorize the drugs/supplements/foods they have available through various sellers/brands. They have plenty of metrics to work off of to figure out what sells online best. No doubt they'll run promos when the full stock becomes available as well.
     
  14. Trollest

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    There has to be a law against that. It's just not fair.
     
  15. CetiAlphaFive

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    It's the future.

    If you can get your customers to categorize your inventory for free, why wouldn't you?
     
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  17. disgonbgud

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    Well, no, it's not free. They get paid a whopping 3 cents per categorization. You'd be shocked at how fast crowdsource workers gobble that work up.
     
  18. CetiAlphaFive

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    Oh, well then I'm wrong
     
  19. PharFromNormal

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    Just wait for all the amazon prime masses to start using their amazon prime Visa cards and watch amazon hyper accelerate their data capture on consumers. They’ll know what, where and how much you got it for too.
     
  20. gwarm01

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    ETA on my office in downtown Seattle with on-call masseuse?
     
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  21. Old Timer

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    No but they are going to buy 365 Claritin for $10.00 or 180 Ranitdine 150 for $5.95 and get it the next day....
     
  22. BenJammin

    BenJammin No Apologies

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    We can still beat those prices.
     
  23. txpharmguy

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    I'd love to see how Amazon deals with Collette Reardon when she calls for the fifth time that day to find out if her doctor has sent in her Norco and if she'll get it on Prime Now
     
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  24. FloridaPharmD

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    going to be really bad, well the CVS monopoly with PBM was already bad
     
  25. giga

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    I wonder if Amazon will come up with a model where Prime membership includes free live tele-consultation with a licensed pharmacist (maybe limited to a certain amount of time per month to deter lonely geriatric folks from taking up all the bandwidth), to help simulate some of that "personal" touch of going into a B&M drug store.
     
  26. Seriously Serious

    Seriously Serious SDN Gold Donor
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    I don't see the point in that being that anyone can pick up a phone and call any pharmacy in the country and speak to a pharmacist for free.
     
  27. giga

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    It can be really hit or miss how long you're on hold until you get to talk to an actual pharmacist. Plus if you're doing it online you have other options, like chatting/instant messaging, since a lot of folks don't like to talk to people on the phone. But yeah, it would probably be too costly to have an instant pharmacist on-call 24/7 just for OTC consultations - it might make more sense once they start processing prescriptions and need to have pharmacists on the payroll for dispensing anyway.
     
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  28. Old Timer

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    I.m sure you can, but I walk in off the street is that price I would pay?
     
  29. PharFromNormal

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    I can see Amazon not caring to win the operationally costly customers over. They’ll probably let you keep the customers that can’t conform to their system and the Collette Reardon’s above. They’ll offer the Amazon way... if you like it awesome. If not, oh well.
     
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  30. CetiAlphaFive

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    I sell a lady loads of benadryl capsules for dirt cheap for her horses.
    It's worth it sometimes.

    Part of being an independent pharmacist is developing intuition and learning where to develop opportunities.

    Then again, sometimes you just get lucky.
    We delivered OTCs only to an obnoxious old lady for a few months before her relative transferred in. They have generic nexium that we make $400 on, and a psych med that we make $1,100 on.
     
  31. Modest_anteater

    Modest_anteater Certified Brainlet.

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    I think so. But it will be more than just Amazon opening up a pharmacy in every Whole Foods. There goal is to become a PBM and use their expertise in data to have the ultimate inventory for pharmaceutical drugs. They will probably ship the drugs via amazon locker or amazon key. This will decimate a already saturated pharmacy market. 30-50% of the curent employed pharmacists to be unemployed by 2025.
     
  32. Seriously Serious

    Seriously Serious SDN Gold Donor
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    That's a little aggressive. However, I can see your point seeing as automation and an overgrowing NP cohort dissolving up potential jobs. I project 40-50% decrease in jobs by 2040-2050.
     
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  33. leelo_x

    leelo_x New Member

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    Its all fine and dandy until amazon gets hacked. Omg it would be a complete disaster.. I am just sitting here thinking of the millions of possible screw ups that could occur with botched internet security. The lawsuits would eventually drain amazon. It would take a while but it would happen.
     
  34. Modest_anteater

    Modest_anteater Certified Brainlet.

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    I doubt it. West Coast tech company have their stuff together unlike tech companies in the rest of the US. Look at a company like Coinbase (San francisco) that stores over 50,000,000 USD of crypto coins that could be stolen if there was one data breach. The computer scientists at Amazon are just too intelligent to let such a hack occur.
     
  35. PharFromNormal

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    This is all assumed that state boards of pharmacies currently permit this and they don’t proactively or reactively implement any additional requirements.
     
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  36. leelo_x

    leelo_x New Member

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    wow you are very optimistic
    security is still a concern...do you expect that "intelligence" to outweigh criminal intent? there are plenty of smart computer scientists can steal patient info, drugs, etc..When you start sending drugs out to the masses like amazon is expecting to do they better have all your ducks in order and not plan to deliver by drone. People will be looking for those packages/keys to package locations like crazy. Not to mention mandatory counseling, handling fake prescriptions, fake patients (patient identification), doctor shopping, state pharmacy law differences..etc..
    they should stick to distribution..maybe become the next cardinal or mckesson and possibly open their own brick and mortar stores. its will be hard to make a drug distribution to patient hands any more streamlined than it already is with current mail order with all of these rules in place. What exactly will amazon offer that other mail order cannot besides maybe modest price drops? Prices can only go but so low.
    I just dont see it sticking. Drugs are not clothing or housewares.

     
    #34 leelo_x, Feb 27, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2018
  37. lord999

    Pharmacist Faculty Moderator Emeritus

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    No, but products are not Amazon's only business. Information and market share are as well, and that's the problem that PhRMA faces. They don't want an domineering player in control of the supply chain. Look what Walmart does to P&G and Kimberly-Clark for consumer goods. It's not a play so much to do any of the functions as much as it is to tie up those functions in an environment where if Amazon is the floor for service, they would make enough money to make it worth their while. The problem is that the Big 3 (and I would call out Walgreens and CVS specifically) have not made the cuts they need to from an I-Bank perspective (the cuts that really hurt). Amazon entering the market either forces the businesses to voluntarily or involuntarily as a condition to access more capital make the cost-cutting measures necessary to their business ends. Unfortunately, both Walmart and Amazon have other businesses such that pharmacy plays a part, but not the decisive part in why they operate in that sector. That sort of robustness of multiple avenues to make a buck including the standard product chain and the ruthlessness of their business practices combine to make a nightmare scenario out of a standard chain business dependent on executing one thing very well. For CVS and Walgreens to survive, either they must diversify their business such that other avenues of profit are available or rightsize their business to compete with Amazon over the same areas. Amazon does not have that big a retail presence, but they can easily tie up the distributor and mail order business with just existing logistics. However, even in its retail business, Amazon has enough city placement that I don't think that the chains can survive outside the majors (remember Walgreens not opening stores in county seats until the mid-00s?).

    Independents have as much to fear from Amazon if they are competing for dollars in the same sphere. Many don't, so Amazon is just another business out there. But for those who are price competitive and that is the business, it will be very hard to deal with Amazon if Amazon chooses to compete for those customers. So, Ft. Defiance, AZ, probably not. Phoenix, possibly not in the retail sector. Camelback in Phoenix, Paradise Valley, Scottsdale Greyhawk (which are the nicer areas in the Phoenix metropolitan), I expect that Whole Foods distribution in that drug business threatens the local chain pharmacies and the national chain pharmacies. But in the same token, Avella (a local chain pharmacy that does mostly compounding specialty) is probably pretty safe even located next door to a Whole Foods. I'd hate to be a Saliba's or United Drug though...

    I think from a historical perspective, it's the same argument as getting evicted as a farmer from the old country. Either figure out how to move out on your own or wait for the eventually eviction. Becoming a better farmer was not the productive choice.
     
    #35 lord999, Feb 27, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2018
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  38. VA77

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  39. gwarm01

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    MindGeek and Seriously Serious like this.
  40. stoichiometrist

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  41. ExpressMaiL

    ExpressMaiL alea iacta est
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    Amazon has the network to do same day deliveries. If they do this for OTC, I sure as hell wouldn't drive down to a pharmacy and deal with parking, the line, etc. if I could have it delivered to me in a few hours.
     

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