CVS is buying Aetna. They are doing it so both companies can position themselves to better compete with Amazon. Yes, Amazon is looking to be a player in the healthcare industry.
In May, CNBC reported that the company was looking to hire a general manager to develop a strategy for getting into the pharmaceutical business. Then word spread that Amazon had acquired pharmacy licenses in a dozen states. The company said it did so to sell medical supplies, but the move positions Amazon to sell drugs down the line, should it decide it wants to. And just last week, reports circulated that Amazon had held preliminary discussions with generic drugmakers Mylan and Sandoz.
I think Amazon entering the health care market is probably good for my pocketbook but I worry that it might be bad for the quality of health care I receive.
Regardless of the this turns out I will always find one drugstore with a good pharmacy staff to buy all of my prescription drugs from and most of my over the counter drugs from. Why, my pharmacist is just like my doctor. My pharmacist knows me, I make sure to have a personal relationship with the pharmacy staff in that they say, “Hello, Mr. Burton.” on sight and even tell me happy birthday on my birthday. This relationship may have saved my life. I know it has kept me from having some nasty side effects from a couple of medications.
Even with over the counter medication I’ve often had the pharmacist ask me if the medication was for me or my wife because of the possible side effects the medication could have with either a medical condition or prescriptions being taken.
If Amazon is going to get into providing health care services they better be prepared to offer a way for me to get to know, personally, the provider they have working for them. Health care should always remain face to face.