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My Amazon pharmacy prediction back in 2016!

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  • My Amazon pharmacy prediction back in 2016!

    In January 2016 I speculated whether Amazon will muscle into pharmacy (see link below) I can now confirm that in USA there is widespread media speculation on this matter. I genuinely believe the same will follow in UK. In fact it is easier to penetrate the UK market because prescription bills are funded by NHS in USA the system is very complex and almost Byzantine like. Therefore Amazon pharmacy may be launched here first!

    Last week Lloyds announced the divestment of 190 + branches my guess is they wish to fully go ahead with hub and spoke model but they will regret this move if Amazon also moves into UK pharmacy sector. This company has the best logistic infrastructure for mail order it also has the financial backing to completely corner the market. I wonder how Lloyds will compete with them. The only thing they had that differentiated Lloyds pharmacy was those physical stores.

    Will I feel sorry for Lloyds if it loses against Amazon? The short answer is no because as the profession is more or less destroyed I only hope for the prosperity of the NHS which we all use. If a company like Amazon can significantly lower the cost of NHS prescription bill then we should all be glad for the matter.





  • #2
    Good prediction, people thought the same thing about Amazon selling food - and then they purchased WholeFoods ... but I do think Amazon will enter the pharmacy market first in the states, even if it would be easier to do here in the UK. If they can crack it in the US, then they can crack it anywhere !

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by WhatCost View Post
      Good prediction, people thought the same thing about Amazon selling food - and then they purchased WholeFoods ... but I do think Amazon will enter the pharmacy market first in the states, even if it would be easier to do here in the UK. If they can crack it in the US, then they can crack it anywhere !
      The contest between the mighty Amazon and P2U will be interesting.
      Two super-powers slugging it out.

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017...rketing-blitz/
      The article is from August - so old news by todays standards.
      What interested me was the funding they have managed to secure.

      As a vocational pharmacists some of us feel that they are no longer stakeholders in any form of future in our chosen profession.

      Most of the time the internet is full of daft opinions and views that you should not take seriously let bother you at all.
      Note : If this posting contains personal views or opinions every endeavour is made to ensure they stay within social media guidelines.
      If you find you have read something that has upset or offended you an anyway please unread it at once.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Pharmanaut View Post

        The contest between the mighty Amazon and P2U will be interesting.
        Two super-powers slugging it out.

        http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017...rketing-blitz/
        The article is from August - so old news by todays standards.
        What interested me was the funding they have managed to secure.

        As a vocational pharmacists some of us feel that they are no longer stakeholders in any form of future in our chosen profession.
        P2U is a small fry when it competes with the multiples Boots et al so its a bit of a stretch to class it as a superpower and term it as a potential competitor for Amazon. IMHO if Amazon enters the pharmacy arena all P2U can hope for is to be bought out by someone. Given the dubious activity of P2U recruitment tactics they will struggle against the likes of Amazon which has excellent customer satisfaction and repeat business. I would not be surprised if it leads to huge surge in the use of online pharmacy.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by jzd4rma View Post
          In January 2016 I speculated whether Amazon will muscle into pharmacy (see link below) I can now confirm that in USA there is widespread media speculation on this matter. I genuinely believe the same will follow in UK. In fact it is easier to penetrate the UK market because prescription bills are funded by NHS in USA the system is very complex and almost Byzantine like. Therefore Amazon pharmacy may be launched here first!

          Last week Lloyds announced the divestment of 190 + branches my guess is they wish to fully go ahead with hub and spoke model but they will regret this move if Amazon also moves into UK pharmacy sector. This company has the best logistic infrastructure for mail order it also has the financial backing to completely corner the market. I wonder how Lloyds will compete with them. The only thing they had that differentiated Lloyds pharmacy was those physical stores.

          Will I feel sorry for Lloyds if it loses against Amazon? The short answer is no because as the profession is more or less destroyed I only hope for the prosperity of the NHS which we all use. If a company like Amazon can significantly lower the cost of NHS prescription bill then we should all be glad for the matter.




          Amazon is possibly big enough to bang all the US insurance companies together and come up with a simple payment algorithm.

          Same with British NHS which, afterall, is not all that transparent.

          Fun times ahead!

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by jzd4rma View Post

            P2U is a small fry when it competes with the multiples Boots et al so its a bit of a stretch to class it as a superpower and term it as a potential competitor for Amazon. IMHO if Amazon enters the pharmacy arena all P2U can hope for is to be bought out by someone. Given the dubious activity of P2U recruitment tactics they will struggle against the likes of Amazon which has excellent customer satisfaction and repeat business. I would not be surprised if it leads to huge surge in the use of online pharmacy.
            P2U Is (or was) 20% owned by EMIS. (reported as such in a BMJ article).
            Interesting that EMIS run the market leading GP computer systems and Pharmacy Computer systems (Proscript).

            The digital generation are the ones to engage with for this type of service as they move to require more medication as they reach maturity and beyond.
            So it is kind of a long game in any case.
            Most of us will be too busy doing what we do while the giants (can you have smaller and and larger giants) slug it out amongst themselves.

            Patient-care or Profit-care?




            Most of the time the internet is full of daft opinions and views that you should not take seriously let bother you at all.
            Note : If this posting contains personal views or opinions every endeavour is made to ensure they stay within social media guidelines.
            If you find you have read something that has upset or offended you an anyway please unread it at once.

            Comment


            • #7
              Also bear in mind that the profit margins in pharmacy in America are considerably better than over here. You're much better off getting all of your kinks out of the system in an area where the profit margins are an awful lot more forgiving of mistakes.

              You'd have to wonder if community pharmacy in the UK would be profitable enough for Amazon. Particularly in the light that the DoH was talking about a different funding structure for internet pharmacies.

              Would Amazon want to risk their reputation for stellar customer service by getting involved in the minefield that is UK community pharmacy?
              I remember when a blog was an individual boot.

              Comment


              • jzd4rma
                jzd4rma commented
                Editing a comment
                Amazon is a shrewd operator it wouldn't surprise if they set up a separate company to build this market to deflect any potential backlash if things turn sour.

                We have to remember Amazon is probably aiming to dislodge the wholesalers and control the supply chain rather than the pharmacy market. To this end it may build partnership with independent operators.

            • #8
              Originally posted by Nimrec View Post
              Also bear in mind that the profit margins in pharmacy in America are considerably better than over here. You're much better off getting all of your kinks out of the system in an area where the profit margins are an awful lot more forgiving of mistakes.

              You'd have to wonder if community pharmacy in the UK would be profitable enough for Amazon. Particularly in the light that the DoH was talking about a different funding structure for internet pharmacies.

              Would Amazon want to risk their reputation for stellar customer service by getting involved in the minefield that is UK community pharmacy?
              They might find the answer to the problem...
              "Out of a bag full of dispensed medicines why is it always the tramadol or diazepam (add your own to this list) that are either missing or have been miscounted again by that stupid pharmacist and there are never enough.
              It happens every time.
              Even when they are checked by another stupid person BOTH of them get it wrong and I have to tell everyone on facebook about it."
              Most of the time the internet is full of daft opinions and views that you should not take seriously let bother you at all.
              Note : If this posting contains personal views or opinions every endeavour is made to ensure they stay within social media guidelines.
              If you find you have read something that has upset or offended you an anyway please unread it at once.

              Comment


              • #9
                Originally posted by Pharmanaut View Post

                They might find the answer to the problem...
                "Out of a bag full of dispensed medicines why is it always the tramadol or diazepam (add your own to this list) that are either missing or have been miscounted again by that stupid pharmacist and there are never enough.
                It happens every time.
                Even when they are checked by another stupid person BOTH of them get it wrong and I have to tell everyone on facebook about it."
                Facebook posts are not always negative. I don’t recall a negative one about the pharmacy in our small town. Quite a few positive ones, though.

                Comment


                • #10
                  Originally posted by Nimrec View Post
                  You'd have to wonder if community pharmacy in the UK would be profitable enough for Amazon. Particularly in the light that the DoH was talking about a different funding structure for internet pharmacies.
                  Indeed. Amazon have minimum orders or orders where you can order things together. That's the only way I can see pharmacy working. The margins are small, a lot of the break even or loss making collection/delivery services pharmacies in the UK do is crazy.

                  Comment


                  • #11
                    Originally posted by mcitr View Post

                    Indeed. Amazon have minimum orders or orders where you can order things together. That's the only way I can see pharmacy working. The margins are small, a lot of the break even or loss making collection/delivery services pharmacies in the UK do is crazy.
                    Economies of scale and once you get your suppliers engaged and relying on your business you can start to let them know what prices that you will pay.

                    Amazon is a global business.
                    We need to stop thinking that they will fulfill the prescriptions here in the UK.
                    Why not have them dispensed where the medication and the labour to dispense them is cheaper?

                    Don't think 'regulations will stop this' - the regulations can be changed if there is a cost justification.

                    Also a new dimension to 'remote supervision'.


                    Most of the time the internet is full of daft opinions and views that you should not take seriously let bother you at all.
                    Note : If this posting contains personal views or opinions every endeavour is made to ensure they stay within social media guidelines.
                    If you find you have read something that has upset or offended you an anyway please unread it at once.

                    Comment


                    • #12
                      Amazon have already stated on Bloomberg that they are impressed by the Ocado grocery delivery model and how a similar system might be used for medicines delivery in USA and then UK. If you can deliver fresh groceries, you can certainly deliver medicines. Think of how long it took Ocado to get their business model right but they stuck with it and eventually succeeded then other companies including the big supermarket chains followed their example. It wouldn't surprise me if Amazon do not enter the UK wholesale and community pharmacy market as soon as 5 years. P2U will struggle when new fees and allowances for 'internet' pharmacy imposed. They will put downward pressure on profits. Amazon could then buy them out and use them as a foundation for a much bigger business.

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