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Amazon is opening online pharmacies, rocking another industry



NEW YORK – Now sold on Amazon: insulin and inhalers.

The company opened an online pharmacy on Tuesday, allowing Amazon shoppers to buy drugs and order refills for their phones and deliver them to their doorstep in a matter of days, just like a book or toilet paper.

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The move is pushing Amazon into a new business, potentially rocking the pharmacy industry, as it has done everything from booksellers to toy and grocery stores. Large chains such as CVS and Walgreens rely on their pharmacies to provide them with a steady stream of shoppers who often stop taking their medications.

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Amazon said it would offer frequently prescribed medications from Tuesday, including creams, pills, and medications that need to stay cold, such as insulin. Buyers need to create an account on Amazon’s website and get doctors to send prescriptions to the Seattle-based e-commerce giant.

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Most insurance is accepted, Amazon said. But Prime members who do not have insurance can also buy generic or Amazon-branded drugs at a discount.

Amazon has been monitoring the healthcare industry for some time. Two years ago, he spent $ 750 million to buy an online pharmacy, PillPack, which organizes drugs in packs at the time and day they are to be taken. Amazon said PillPack will continue to focus on delivering drugs to people with chronic illnesses.

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