Amazon gets heftier dose of Drugstore.com

Amazon.com expands a deal with the online pharmacy to establish a health and personal care department on its Web site, adding to its array of consumer products.

Dawn Kawamoto Former Staff writer, CNET News
Dawn Kawamoto covered enterprise security and financial news relating to technology for CNET News.
Dawn Kawamoto
2 min read
Amazon.com has expanded a deal with Drugstore.com to establish a health and personal care department on its Web site, as the e-tail giant continues to add to its array of consumer products.

Under the agreement, Drugstore.com, which markets everything from toilet paper to prescription pharmaceuticals, becomes a fulfillment partner for certain products sold through Amazon. The Drugstore.com deal specifically excludes prescription medications and contact lenses.

Amazon's health and personal care storefront, introduced Wednesday as a test site, offers products ranging from minor toiletries to expensive medical supplies such as wheelchairs. The company previously operated a "health and beauty products" business that depended completely on a marketing relationship with Drugstore.com for product fulfillment. That site is being replaced with the new health and personal care department.

The expanded site features a much wider array of goods from multiple third-party vendors. In addition, Amazon customers can now combine purchases from other parts of the site for a single checkout, which was not possible when Drugstore.com controlled the site. Under the new deal, orders fulfilled by Drugstore.com will be shipped in Amazon-branded boxes straight from the online health care company's distribution facility.

Amazon, which started as an online bookseller, has morphed into one of the Web's leading e-commerce sites, offering a laundry list of consumer packaged goods. The health and personal care site is just the latest addition to the company, which is currently testing versions of sites for marketing gourmet foods, jewelry and watches, and sporting goods.

While Amazon recorded its first non-holiday profitable quarter in October, experts have said the company will increasingly look to third-party vendors to drive down costs and widen the range of products it offers. In the health and personal care section alone, it lists CosmeticMall.com, Derma Doctor, Drugstore.com, MaxiAids.com, MotherNature.com, Vitamin Shoppe and 1-800-Wheelchair.com as "featured seller" partners.