Amazon’s strategy hinges on its ability to create consumer trust and parlaying that into an increased share of the market.
Amazon is expanding its medical footprint. On November 8, the company announced that it would be offering Prime members healthcare through One Medical, a company it owns. According to Neil Lindsay, senior vice president of Amazon Health Services, “When it is easier for people to get the care they need, they engage more in their health, and realize better health outcomes,” Lindsay said.
“That’s why we are bringing One Medical’s exceptional experience to Prime members—it’s healthcare that makes it dramatically easier to get and stay healthy.”
As CNN reported, however, the FTC warned Amazon ahead of its purchase to pursue it at its own risk. The FTC is concerned primarily with Amazon’s potential to use consumer healthcare data for other purposes, such as targeted advertising or e-commerce. Douglas Farrar, the FTC’s spokesman, told CNN, “The FTC’s investigation of Amazon’s acquisition of One Medical continues,” Farrar said.
“The commission will continue to look at possible harms to competition created by this merger, as well as possible harms to consumers that may result from Amazon’s control and use of sensitive consumer health information held by One Medical.”
Even though Walgreens Boots Alliance, CVS, and Walmart recently agreed to pay $13 billion to settle state and local lawsuits related to the American opioid crisis, the three remain entrenched atop the healthcare marketplace. Walgreens Boots Alliance, in particular, despite rumors of financial instability amid several settlements over opioids and a planned $1 billion in budget cuts over the next few years, is still one of the largest pharmacy chains in the country, telling Reuters via a statement.
“As one of the largest pharmacy chains in the nation, we remain committed to being a part of the solution, and this settlement framework will allow us to keep our focus on the health and wellbeing of our customers and patients, while making positive contributions to address the opioid crisis.”
Walgreens and CVS were also dismissive regarding the impact of pharmacy worker strikes, as Walgreens informed CNN that the strikes in October related to patient safety had “minimal” impact.
CVS, meanwhile, emphasized its commitment to patient safety, telling CNN in October, “We’re committed to providing access to consistent, safe, high-quality healthcare to the patients and communities we serve and are engaging in a continuous two-way dialogue with our pharmacists to directly address any concerns they have.”
Source: Black Enterprise