Enter: Amazon, ready to take over another industry.
It started with books, then moved into merchandise, then started making movies and television shows, then got into groceries. Now Amazon is taking on the pharmacy industry.
Jeff Bezos is nothing if not aggressive. It wouldn't be surprising if he got into auto repair one day. Ship your car to Amazon and get it back fixed in two days with Prime. (We'll take $20 for that idea, Mr. Bezos.)
"The company said its online pharmacy will offer commonly prescribed medications in the U.S., including creams, pills, as well as medications that need to stay refrigerated, like insulin," the Associated Press reports. "Shoppers have to set up a profile on Amazon's website and have their doctors send prescriptions there. Most insurance is accepted, Amazon said. But Prime members who don't have insurance can also buy generic or brand-name drugs from Amazon for a discount."
Apparently Amazon will offer folks inhalers and insulin but keep away from most opioids. Smart move.
So the real question is, when the doctor asks, "What pharmacy do you want this sent to?" how many customers will respond: "Amazon"?
For some folks, it may not be feasible to wait two days for a prescription. Someone with a bad sinus infection who wants steroids for near-immediate relief will probably go into a brick-and-mortar store to find that. So Walgreens and CVS should stay safe.
But for others who take chronic medication, they know when their pills run out and need to order more. Putting that information into Amazon's system and having stuff mailed exactly when they need it for a cheaper price might be awfully handy.
Perhaps the biggest threat won't be to chains but to mom-and-pop shops. Amazon tends to gun for their business. And with the aid of USPS, Amazon already reaches every address in America. In other words: nowhere to run, nowhere to hide.
If you need your prescription filled, apparently Dr. Alexa will be in soon.