New Amazon online pharmacy service will compete against CVS and Rite Aid

Though long expected, the announcement rattled the drugstore industry, sinking the shares of all of Amazon’s news rivals. Shares in both CVS and Walgreens Boots Alliance slid about 9 percent in midday trading. Rite Aid’s stock fell more than 15 percent. (Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos owns The Washington Post.)

Prescription drug sales will approach $360 billion this year, according to a forecast from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, an agency within the Department of Health and Human Services. With the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Amazon Pharmacy hopes to take advantage of the burgeoning interest in shopping from home.

“As more and more people look to complete everyday errands from home, pharmacy is an important and needed addition to the Amazon online store,” senior vice president Doug Herrington said in a statement announcing the move.

Amazon Pharmacy is available, for now, to customers in every state except Hawaii, Illinois,

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