Amazon already undercutting prices on over-the-counter pills | The Star Online

NEW YORK: As pharmacy chains await Amazon.com Inc’s entry into the prescription-drug market, the online retail giant is already undercutting them for non-prescription medicine for aches, colds and allergies.

Median prices for over-the-counter (OTC), private-brand medicine sold by Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc and CVS Health Corp were about 20% higher than Basic Care, the OTC drug line sold exclusively by Amazon, according to a report by Jefferies Group analysts.

Last week, Amazon announced that it was buying PillPack, a pharmacy company that would give it an entry point into the United States’ US$328.6bil market for prescription drugs.

Shares of CVS and Walgreens plunged on the news, as investors bet Amazon could lure pharmacy customers with lower prices, and give them one less reason to go to the corner drugstore.

Amazon began selling the Basic Care line in August with roughly 35 products and has since expanded its range to 65 drugs, according to the Jefferies analysts.

The products include mild painkillers, cold and flu medication, sleeping aids and other medication commonly found in the pharmacy aisle. At a midtown Manhattan Duane Reade, part of the Walgreens chain, a store-brand pack of 500 acetaminophen pills costs US$18.99.

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Amazon already undercutting prices on over-the-counter pills – Business News | The Star Online.