Walgreens and CVS stocks plummet as Dr

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Walgreens was already trading lower after reporting lower same-store sales at its U.S. pharmacies.

"This is incredibly bad news for traditional players, like Walgreens and CVS, who stand to lose the most from Amazon's determination to grow its share". Amazon announced the deal early this morning.

But all the companies said on Thursday was the deal was subject to some regulatory approvals and that the companies hope to close the transaction during the second half of this year.

The U.S. market for prescription medicine is vast. In 2016, USA consumers spent $328.6 billion on retail prescription drugs, according to the US government. After all, the Jeff Bezos-led juggernaut had $25 billion of cash on its balance sheet at the end of the first quarter - and it could amass more if it ever decides to spend less on corporate reinvestment. The company's website says it is licensed to ship prescriptions in 49 states and its CEO said in November that the company was on track to post more than $100 million in revenue for 2017.

Shares of drug wholesalers McKesson Corp, Cardinal Health and AmerisourceBergen also fell sharply.

CVS Health noted that PillPack isn't the only company in the space with drug delivery capabilities.

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Pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) negotiate prescription drug pricing for employers and health plans and run large mail-order pharmacies, offering incentives to patients to fill prescriptions with them.

It is time for the prescription drug supply chain to accept reality: Amazon is serious about entering the pharmacy business. Acquiring PillPack's networks helps Amazon surmount those hurdles.

Michael Rea, CEO of Rx Savings Solutions, said PillPack could transform the industry and that employers and health plans would benefit from the deal, which he called a "sign of the times". "It's going to take a long time for them to disrupt the market".

Last week, Amazon, JPMorgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway announced Boston doctor Atul Gawande as the chief executive of the companies' new health care venture, which will be based in Boston. "The acquisition of Whole Foods makes entry into pharmacy much easier for Amazon".

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., June 27, 2018.

"When Amazon sneezes, everybody else catches a cold", said Joseph Feldman, an analyst with Telsey Advisory.

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