Amazon agrees to buy PillPack, an online pharmacy

Meanwhile, stocks for drugstores tank.

Ben Fox Rubin Former senior reporter
Ben Fox Rubin was a senior reporter for CNET News in Manhattan, reporting on Amazon, e-commerce and mobile payments. He previously worked as a reporter for The Wall Street Journal and got his start at newspapers in New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts.
Ben Fox Rubin

Remember to take your meds, said the e-commerce giant.

Ben Fox Rubin/CNET

Amazon's ambitions to become an online pharmacy are finally coming to fruition.

The e-commerce giant on Thursday said it agreed to buy the online drug store PillPack. The startup, which was founded in 2013, ships medications to people in the US in presorted dose packaging and caters to people who take multiple prescriptions a day. The deal gives Amazon pharmaceutical licenses to ship in every US state except Hawaii.

The acquisition is expected to close in the second half of this year. Amazon didn't disclose the value of the deal, but The Wall Street Journal reported that it was roughly $1 billion. PillPack raised over $120 million in funding, according to Crunchbase.

The deal fulfills reports that Amazon is planning to jump into the pharmacy and health care industries. For instance, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported in October that Amazon obtained approval to be a wholesale distributor of pharmaceuticals in 12 states. Amazon likely decided to push into the new field to help it maintain its rapid growth and bring in more customers.

Stocks for a handful of drugstore companies sank Thursday, including Rite Aid, CVS and Walgreens Boots Alliance, a typical market move anytime Amazon jumps into a new market.

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